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A Healthy Heart Starts with a Healthy Smile

February 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drschaffeld @ 11:56 am
An illustration for American Heart Month

Since it’s February, you’ve likely been thinking of Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you’ve even prepared a gift for your sweetheart. Still, don’t just focus on your emotional heart right now. The truth is that February is American Heart Month – a time to value physical heart health and its role in good living. So, consider helping that special organ in your chest. Your Enterprise dentist will even assist you. Here’s a primer on how a healthy smile can strengthen your heart.

How the Mouth & Heart Relate

Even if they seem unrelated, your mouth and heart actively impact each other. The health of the former can strongly affect the health of the latter. In other words, how well your mouth is doing will partly determine if your heart is strong or weak.

You see, harmful mouth bacteria don’t just stay in your oral cavity. These microbes can easily travel through your bloodstream and reach your heart. Should that happen, they might attach to heart valves and cause inflammation. You’d then suffer cardiovascular issues – strokes, clogged arteries, etc.

Gum Disease Leads to Heart Disease

One example of the mouth-heart connection is how gum disease raises your risk of heart disease. As your gum infection worsens or goes undiagnosed, the more danger your heart will face.

If the bacteria from gum disease reaches your heart, it won’t prove harmless. The microbes will likely elevate C-reactive proteins. These proteins act as a guide for inflammation in blood vessels, so boosting them leads to a higher chance of heart disease. In fact, such a rise may double or even triple your risk of heart attacks or another cardiovascular problem.

Tips for Heart-Healthy Oral Care

Despite the facts above, you can take steps to prevent gum-related heart issues. Just make sure to use the following tips:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Always try to brush your teeth twice daily and floss between them once daily. By sticking to these habits, you’ll lower your gum disease risk.
  • Avoid Bad Oral Habits – Tobacco products put you at high risk of gum disease. So, make sure you avoid (or quit) smoking.
  • See Your Dentist – Remember to attend six-month dental checkups and cleanings. When you do, your dentist can diagnose and prevent issues that lead to gum disease.
  • Know the Symptoms – Early gum disease can actually be reversed. So, keep an eye out for signs like bleeding or irritated gums. A quick trip to the dentist could stop your infection!

While it may be surprising, a healthy smile can strengthen your heart. Keep that truth in mind as you celebrate Valentine’s Day and the broader American Heart Month!

About the Practice

Tyler Schaffeld Dental is based in Enterprise, OR. Led by Dr. Tyler Shaffeld, our practice has always sought to give its patients the best smiles possible. To that end, we provide preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as emergency dental treatments. Our office is also proud to offer modern therapy for periodontal disease. For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (541)-426-3783.

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120 S. River St., Enterprise, OR 97828 USA