There are several types of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Among these is infective endocarditis, which involves inflammation of the interior lining of the heart and heart valves and is usually the result of bacterial infection. While damaged and abnormal heart valves are at greatest risk, the condition can also occur in normal valves when a large amount of bacteria is present. Another type of heart disease, coronary artery disease, is characterized by gradual thickening of the coronary artery walls as a result of fatty proteins. Often blood clots form in the narrowed arteries, obstructing normal blood flow and depriving the heart of needed nutrients and oxygen. An individual with periodontal disease can injure the gum tissue during normal tasks, such as chewing and brushing. This type of injury allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream. It is believed that the accumulation of these bacteria on heart valves can lead to a fatal endocarditic infection. It also appears that the bacteria can attach to fatty plaques and possibly contribute to clot formation, which can be life threatening in Beverly Hills patients with coronary artery disease. Individuals with periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. And a recent study showed that patients who experience a stroke or heart attack are more likely to have periodontal disease. If you believe you might be suffering from periodontal disease, contact our office in Beverly Hills to schedule a consultation at (310) 657-0999.