The Relationship Between Oral and Heart Health
February 11, 2022
February is often regarded as the season. Every year, numerous couples purchase, flowers, chocolates, and other gifts to show their love on the 14th day of the month. Though Valentine’s Day has been ingrained into our culture, it’s not the only heart-related topic to discuss this month. February is also American Heart Health Month, a time dedicated to concentrating on cardiovascular health. Though it may come as a surprise, taking good care of your smile can actually result in a healthier heart. Read on to learn about the relationship between oral health and your heart.
The Link Between Oral Health & Your Heart
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that usually starts with plaque. If plaque is left on your teeth for a long period, it can harden on your gum line and turn into tartar. Since tartar can’t be removed without professional help, you will need to visit your dentist for a cleaning. Gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, is easy to treat. If gum disease is left to flourish, it can spread beyond the mouth and cause complications elsewhere in the body. Research shows that people with gum infections are up to three times as likely to experience a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Additionally, inflammation is a common side effect of gum disease and can result in heart problems if it goes on for an extended period. Acute inflammation helps your body fight infections and speeds up healing, but chronic inflammation may contribute to health problems, like atherosclerosis. This condition causes the arteries to thicken or harden, which may lead to strokes or heart attacks.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Fortunately, gum disease is easy to prevent. The best ways to keep this oral health issue from developing include:
- Brush – When you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night, brush your teeth for two minutes to get rid of food particles, plaque, and harmful oral bacteria. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid enamel damage.
- Floss – After your last meal of the day or before you go to bed, make sure to floss your teeth. This will remove plaque and food particles that you can’t reach using a toothbrush.
- Say no to tobacco – Cigarette smokers are several times more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. Cutting this bad habit out of your life will help prevent oral health issues. Ask your dentist, therapist, or doctor for resources if you need help quitting.
- Visit the dentist – Every six months, make an appointment to see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning. These visits are key to detecting oral health issues early on so they can be treated before they get any worse.
As you can see, taking care of your smile is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart. With the above tips, you’ll be able to keep your cardiovascular system functioning properly while sporting a gorgeous grin!
About the Practice
At Tyler Schaffeld Dental, the compassionate Enterprise team understands that maintaining a strong smile is an important part of keeping your heart healthy. That’s why they take pride in administering a range of exceptional oral health services like checkups, cleanings, and periodontal therapy to ensure that your oral and overall health remain in excellent shape. Visit Tyler Schaffeld Dental’s website or call their office at (541) 426-3783 to make an appointment or for more information on how to maintain good oral health.
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