The main culprit behind gum disease is bacterial growth, usually called plaque. Although several different types of species are detrimental to gum health, some are more troublesome than others. One particular enemy is known as Porphyromonas gengivalis .
Quite possibly nothing is more frustrating than accidentally chewing on your cheek. It's painful and many times seems to take forever to heal. Part of that reason is due to bacteria. There may be billions covering the tongue, the teeth, the gums and the cheek.
As with many scientific and medical breakthroughs, the discovery of the link between gum and cardiovascular diseases started off rather unexpectedly. Back in 1989, a group in Finland wanted to find out if heart disease could be linked to other chronic diseases. They did the usual blood analysis to detect heart problems and also conducted other medical examinations not unlike what a family doctor might do. They expected something but never imagined they would find a link between the inevitably fatal problems with a rather common condition many of us have: gum disease.