There is a growing evidence that the presence of periodontal (gum) disease can be linked to the incidence of coronary heart disease. Gums infected with periodontal disease are toxic reservoirs of disease-causing bacteria. The bacteria hide in pockets next to the teeth, where the gums have pulled away from the tooth surface. When gums are infected, they frequently bleed. Studies have shown that bacterial plaque entering the bloodstream through infected gums might also cause a potentially fatal heart condition called infective endocarditis.The lesson to be learned? Brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. We now know that good oral health can improve our overall health.