Recent research shows that periodontitis caused by poor oral hygiene not only leads to tooth loss, but can also cause heart disease and stroke. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum diseases have almost twice the risk of heart diseases as those without. Gum infections are also more common in people who suffer different types of strokes. It is not known exactly why and how gum disease affects the health of your heart. But one theory is that bacteria from the infected gums can enter your bloodstream and connect with the fatty acids in your heart. So there is every reason to take good care of your gums.