Gum Care

Importance of Oral Health for Heart Health

Oral health is a crucial factor in our overall health and, in particular people who have been diagnosed with heart disease can have some negative impact on oral health. The connection between heart disease and oral health is not entirely established, and more research is needed to establish it. With available scientific evidence, the American Heart Association has concluded that poor oral health has not proved to cause heart attack and on the other hand treating gum disease has not proven to reduce risk of heart attack.

Studies have shown:

  • Gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease
  • Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the heart valves. Oral health may be particularly important if you have artificial heart valves
  • Tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease
  • There is a strong connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from periodontal treatment

How are Gum disease and heart disease related?

Gingivitis (gum disease) is a condition that can begin mildly and develop into a more serious disease. For most people gum diseases go undiagnosed because their gums don’t bleed when they brush.

What do early signs of gum disease include?

  1. Sores and inflammation
  2. Bleeding gums
  3. Bacteria under the gumline
  4. Loss of bone support
  5. Difficulty in chewing food
  6. Halitosis (Bad Breath)
  7. Loss of teeth or infection to the jawbone.

Gum disease can lead to more serious health problems, including heart problems that could even turn deadly. Poor oral health enhances the risk of bacterial infection within the blood stream that can cause infections and create greater health risks and no visible symptoms. It can affect your heart and circulatory system, including heart valves, blood vessels, and the blood itself. As more harmful plaque builds up in your mouth and on your teeth, it can get trapped within these tissues and lead to a number of different heart problems.

How to reduce the risk of gum disease?

To keep your smile in the best condition possible, it’s essential to take oral health into your own hands. Having periodontal disease puts you at high risk for developing heart disease. Treatment like regular dental cleanings prevents damage to teeth, gums, and oral tissues by removing plaque and tartar buildup, which are the main cause of gum disease. It’s also an opportunity for your dentist to evaluate and treat any other dental concerns you might have.

How do you maintain good oral hygiene?

It’s never too late to start improving your healthy habits. Maintaining good oral health is one of the most important things you can do for your heart and one of the easiest. If you’re not taking care of your gums and teeth, you could be putting yourself at risk for serious medical problems. This is because your mouth is connected to the rest of your body through a large blood vessel that directly links back to your heart.

Gum disease and heart disease have several risk factors in common that can be prevented through simple adjustments to your daily routine.

  • To prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss, brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Eat healthy foods, because they can improve your health. Limit your intake of sugar and starch, since these can have harmful effects on your health
  • Give up smoking so that you can have a healthy smile, as smoking causes gum problems and increases your chance of heart disease and lung cancer
  • Good oral hygiene is essential, so make sure you practice mouthwash once a day
  • Schedule regular appointments with your dentist to make sure that your teeth stay healthy
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist today and when you visit, be sure to let them know if you have bleeding gums as it is the most common symptom of gum disease, and early detection is the key to better treatment options

Make sure you take care of your oral health and can keep your teeth healthy for life, without worrying about a connection between gum disease and heart disease. This will allow you to live a long, and healthy life – free from heart disease and dental problems.

Dentists may not be the first person you think to call about your health, but they should be one of the first places to check. If you develop signs of a more serious condition such as bad breath, mouth sores, or bleeding gums, ask your dentist for help. Though these developments don’t necessarily have anything to do with heart disease, there may be symptoms of more serious problems. If you’re experiencing something out of the ordinary or have any questions or concerns about your teeth, don’t hesitate to contact our Gum Specialist. You can also learn more about Gum care and Periodontics here.

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