Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women. February is American Heart Month, and it is the ideal time to spread awareness about heart health and to encourage everyone to make heart-friendly choices. Preventing and treating dental conditions is vital not only for aesthetic and functional purposes, but it can also boost longevity. Maintaining optimal oral health is something all individuals can do to help reduce their risk of heart disease. While poor oral health does not directly cause or exacerbate heart-related illnesses, it can be an indicator of health and lifestyle factors that are connected to heart disease.
What to Watch Out For
Gum and periodontal diseases are not always noticeable, but you should schedule an appointment with your dental practitioner if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Gum soreness
- Bleeding gums
- Pus or other discharge around the gums
- Receding gums
- Continuous bad breath
- Persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or migratory teeth
How is Oral Health Linked to Heart Health?
Practicing poor oral hygiene and neglecting to manage serious oral conditions, such as gum disease and periodontal disease, leaves the mouth vulnerable to bacteria. The bacteria can migrate into the bloodstream via open sores inside the mouth and carry to the heart. The spread of oral bacteria throughout the vascular system can cause inflammation of blood vessels and increase the likelihood of experiencing a stroke or cardiac arrest.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Oral Health
- Visit your dental practitioner at least twice a year (more frequent visits may be necessary for smokers, diabetics, and those with oral diseases)
- Quit all tobacco use
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush
Everybody’s oral condition is different, so please schedule your dental exam appointment with Dr. Christine Chung by calling +15512224493 to evaluate what type of treatment you require.