With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we are constantly reminded to appreciate the ones we love. Far too often, we also forget to appreciate and love ourselves. You will want to make sure that you are taking the best care of yourself possible. This includes making sure that your heart is running in tip-top shape. You also want to make sure that you are taking care of your oral health. Your dental health can negatively affect your heart if you are not making sure that your oral health is the best that it can be.
February is not just home to Valentine’s Day. It is also American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This makes the perfect time to review the connection between your heart health and gum disease.
Heart Health and Gum Disease
There have been many studies that have proven that there is a connection between having gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease can also be known as periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums that surround the teeth. It is caused by plaque building up along the gum. If you do not get treatment for gum disease, it can cause tooth loss, chewing problems, and bleeding gums.
Coronary heart disease is a disorder of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If a blood clot blocks the flow of blood completely, the muscle will begin to die. Studies show that people with periodontal disease are three times more likely to suffer from heart disease. The best thing that you can do to prevent this, is to learn all about what you do in your dental care routine to lower your risk of periodontal disease and heart disease.
Proper Dental Care
- Dental visits. It is a good idea to visit Houston Dentists at Post Oak at least twice a year. At each visit, you will have a cleaning and an exam. If you have some sort of symptoms like bleeding gums, swollen gums, or even pain, please be sure to let your dentist know. Your dentist will be able to complete an exam as well as x-rays to determine what is going on with your dental health. He or she will be able to form a plan of attack to treat any of the dental problems you may be having.
- Toothbrushing. You want to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush for at least 2 minutes, and make sure that you pay attention to your gum line.
- Flossing. Brushing is not the only thing that you can do to help prevent gum disease. It is important to floss at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque, and leftover food from your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.
- No tobacco. It is important if you use any kind of tobacco, including smoking or dipping, cease to do this. This can lead to disease and other health issues.
- Risk factors. You will want to find out all of your risk factors for gum disease. For example, genetics, diet, and age can all give you risk factors. Discuss this with your dentist to determine what risk factors you may have.
Having a healthy smile can help you to have a healthy heart. If you have not seen your dentist recently, please make an appointment to determine whether or not you have gum disease. Do all the tips above to prevent any further dental issues to help to protect your heart and overall health.