periodontal disease and heart disease. Studies have suggested that there may be a link between the two, which means that maintaining good oral health may benefit you in more ways than one. When proper oral hygiene is not maintained, patients often experience an increase in gum inflammation, which can lead to deep gum pockets, boneloss, and eventually tooth loss. Deep pockets collect bacteria that cannot be thoroughly cleaned out during a routine cleaning, and that bacteria causes inflammation. Some studies suggest that this bacteria can travel through the bloodstream, and in turn create inflammation in the heart’s vessels, which creates infection in the heart valves. Whether there truly is a link or not, we encourage our patients to preventatively keep up on their oral hygiene, to lower the risk of other potential health complications down the road!