Gums, Teeth and Heart? Oh MY!

heart healthDid you know that your oral health can provide your dentist and doctors with warning signs for a range of diseases and conditions, including those in the heart? Recent studies show that if you have gum disease in moderate to advanced levels, you are at higher risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums. Your oral health and heart disease are connected by the spread of bacteria along with other germs starting in your mouth and traveling to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. If the bacteria reaches the heart, it can attach to any damaged area causing inflammation and further issues.

Who’s at risk?

Patients who have advanced stages of periodontal disease or gingivitis have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, especially if remained undiagnosed and untreated. The bad bacteria associated with the gum infection can enter the bloodstream, where it then attaches to blood vessels. This increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Inadequate oral health with accumulated plaque over time, known also as biofilm, puts you at risk for gum disease.

What to watch for:

  • Gums that are red or swollen to the touch.
  • Gums that bleed when eating, brushing, or flossing.
  • Visible pus or other signs of infection.
  • Gums pulling away, removing from the teeth.
  • Constant bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
  • Loose teeth.

Prevention Measures:

Maintaining good oral health and regular dental cleanings and examinations are the best way to protect yourself against possible gum disease. Always remember to brush twice daily with a soft bristle or electric toothbrush, brushing adequately to remove built up plaque on the teeth and gum line. Having regular scheduled cleanings and checkups at the dental office also helps to prevent further damage as well.

Visit our hygienists as Smile Sarasota for your regular schedule hygiene visits and checkups. Nothing pays more than staying ahead of the game and on track when it comes to your body’s health.