Could good dental hygiene mean a healthy heart? There are times when we miss out on our regular teeth cleanings or forget to change our toothbrush every couple of months. These misses and forgetfulness could actually lead to serious consequences like heart disease. Research findings suggest that there is a link between oral health and heart disease. Especially when it comes to gum disease, patients could be at a higher risk for certain cardiovascular conditions.
How Are Gum Disease & Heart Disease Linked?
Often times, chronic gum conditions like gingivitis can go undiagnosed and untreated because they can be hard to detect. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop bacteria from gum infections from entering into the blood stream and spreading to other parts of the body, including the heart. These bacteria can exacerbate weakened areas of the heart and cause dangerous inflammation. This results in conditions like clogged arteries and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
What Are the Preventive Measures?
If your gums are swollen, sore, or bleed when you brush or floss, these could be early warning signs of infection. Even if you don’t have inflamed gums, poor oral hygiene and plaque build-up could put you at risk of gum disease – and potentially lead to heart problems. Take control of your dental health by choosing a well-balanced diet that eliminates sugar and starch. Avoid smoking, and brush your teeth at least twice a day with ADA-accepted toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss daily to remove all the plaque-forming bacteria. Most importantly, though, visit your dentist for regular examinations.
At South Texas Smiles, we’re devoted to providing high quality dental care. We offer our patients everything from teeth cleanings to periodontal care. If you’d like further tips on taking preventive measures to keep your teeth healthy, give us a call today to schedule an appointment!