Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Can Toothache Cause Heartbreak?

Clark, Natasha; Skinner, Zoe; Rutland, Catrin Sian


Natasha Clark

Zoe Skinner


Poor mouth care and heart disease are two major health concerns worldwide. Both conditions occur in humans and in many mammals, including our pets. “Periodontal” is the word used to refer to structures surrounding the teeth, including the gums and bone. Scientists have seen a connection between poor periodontal health and the increased risk of developing heart disease. It is thought that the bacteria found in dental plaque enters the bloodstream once the gums become inflamed. These bacteria travel through blood vessels, helping blockages called atherosclerotic lesions to form, which narrow the passageways of blood to the heart. In severe cases, lesions can dislodge from the arteries and completely block blood flow to the heart, leading to heart disease and heart failure. Scientific studies have shown that poor periodontal health significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease. Interestingly, it seems our canine companions are suffering the same effects. Brushing teeth could save lives!


Clark, N., Skinner, Z., & Rutland, C. S. (2020). Can Toothache Cause Heartbreak?. Frontiers for Young Minds, 8,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 29, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 8, 2020
Publication Date Jul 8, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2020
Journal Frontiers for Young Minds
Print ISSN 2296-6846
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Article Number 87
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations