Many people aren’t aware that the connection between their oral health and the cardiovascular system is strong. Since February is American Heart Month in Tysons Corner & Potomac, it’s the perfect time to optimize your dental habits so you can improve your overall wellbeing. But, before you can do that, it’s important to understand the connection between oral health problems and heart disease. Read on to learn the link between your heart and gums and how you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular conditions.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR MOUTH & HEART
Over the past decade, dentists, researchers, and doctors have gotten together to examine what the link between gum disease and heart disease is. First, it’s important to understand that heart disease refers to several additional conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes. It’s caused by the narrowing and blocking of important vessels that circulate blood throughout vital parts of your body.
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an incredibly common oral health problem that impacts one out of every two adults in America. It can result in serious, permanent oral damage such as tooth loss when it’s left untreated. Harmful oral bacteria accumulate in the mouth and produce toxins such as enamel-eroding acid and inflammation-causing toxins. These toxins infect the gums, causing common signs of the disease, such as inflammation, bleeding, swelling, and gum recession.
When gum disease isn’t treated, researchers believe that the inflammation-causing toxins released by harmful oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body, such as the cardiovascular system. From there, they can cause inflammation in areas such as blood vessels, causing heart attacks and strokes.
REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE WITH THESE DENTAL TIPS
Now that you know the connection between gum disease in Tysons Corner & Potomac and heart problems, you can take necessary preventive measures to protect your health. A great place to start is by thoroughly maintaining your teeth and gums. Here are some tips to help celebrate the health of your heart this February:
- Brush twice each day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once every day.
- Rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash daily.
- Visit your dentist for semi-annual checkups and cleanings.
- Limit your intake of foods high in sugars and carbohydrates.
- Try to quit habits that are bad for your health, such as smoking.
- Stay hydrated with water.
- Maintain a nutritious diet that’s high in fresh vegetable intake.
- Keep an eye out for the early signs of gum disease. If you notice any, visit your dentist immediately.
With diligent at-home oral care and professional preventive dentistry, you wont’ just be making sure your grin stays beautiful and bright—you’ll also be taking great care of your heart! February is the perfect time to implement new precautionary measures into your dental hygiene routine since it’s American Heart Month. If you’d like any additional tips and tricks, be sure to ask your dentist during your checkup and cleaning!
About the Author
Dr. Merah Al-Jundi looks forward to providing each of her patients with thorough and personalized dental care. Whether it’s leaving no stretch of the mouth un-examined during a dental checkup or making the perfect gum disease treatment plan to stop the symptoms in their tracks, she’s always looking forward to optimizing her patients’ overall wellbeing. For questions or to schedule a consultation to learn more about gum disease therapy, visit Just For Your Smile’s website or call 703-844-3203.