When you think of February and hearts, you may think of Valentine’s Day. However, we will be highlighting American Heart Month, an important annual reminder of the importance of cardiovascular health, the leading cause of death globally.
You may be wondering how that impacts you at the dentist, but your oral health is connected to your heart health in more ways than one:
Cardiovascular disease and oral health issues like gum disease (periodontal disease) share similar risk factors, such as being overweight, eating a diet high in sugars and ultra processed foods, smoking and poorly controlled diabetes.
When people suffer from gum disease, they will experience inflammation, which can impact the entire body, most dangerously, the heart.
Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream when you have gum disease as you often have gaps between the tooth and gums, as well as bleeding gums which can help transfer the germs into the body and heart. This bacteria can also lead to changes in vasculature, increasing the risk for strokes.
It’s important to reduce the likelihood of getting gum disease by taking steps to improve your diet and have healthy habits. Our team is here to provide you with helpful resources if you are looking to improve your overall health. It’s also crucial to have a good oral hygiene routine—daily flossing and brushing can help keep your teeth plaque free in-between visits to your Sterling dentist. We also recommend visiting our dental practice at least twice a year for an exam and professional cleaning. Drs. Hubbard, Keynton Sill and Mitnick can spot early signs of gum disease and help make improvements.
According to studies, people with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event. With this in mind, we recommend our patients understanding the symptoms of gum disease in order to make an appointment immediately with our team:
Red, swollen, and sore to the touch gums
Pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth
Your gums are separating from the teeth
A bad taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath
Loose teeth or the feeling of your teeth moving away from each other
If you have any concerns about your gum health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. It’s important if you experience any of these symptoms that you don’t delay being seen by our doctors who can help improve your oral health for 2024.