When thinking about February, Valentine’s Day is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, you have more than one reason to be thinking about hearts. It is American Heart Month, after all. There is no better time to learn more about how the health of your smile and heart is related. To keep up excellent cardiovascular health, you need to maintain your oral health as well. Continue reading to learn more about their connection from your prosthodontist in San Diego.
How Are Oral and Heart Health Related?
Did you know that half of Americans who are over age 30 have gum disease at one level of severity or another? This is an infection of the tissue that surrounds the teeth. When it is left without periodontal disease treatment, you could end up with some serious, irreversible issues. They include gum recession, loose teeth, tooth loss, and bone shrinkage.
Heart disease is a blood vessel disorder that can lead to a heart attack if the blood flow is blocked. People who are suffering from periodontal disease are three times more likely to experience a heart attack, stroke, or another serious cardiovascular event. It isn’t exactly clear to doctors yet what the specific relationship between the two is, but inflammation that results from periodontitis is a likely contributor.
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is incredibly common, but it is also easily preventable. Here are some ways you can keep your gums in healthy shape:
- Brushing Twice Daily: You should brush your teeth twice daily to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Make sure that you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss Every Day: Brushing on its own isn’t enough because there are some areas of the mouth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Use dental floss to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and beneath the gumline.
- Don’t Use Tobacco Products: Smoking doubles your risk of developing gum disease and is linked to oral cancer. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family about the best ways that you can quit for good.
- Visit Your Dentist: You should be seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups. If needed, your dentist can provide gum disease treatment early on before any damage is done.
- Understand Your Risk: There are multiple factors that could put you at higher risk for developing gum disease, including age, genetics, and diet.
Maintaining good cardiovascular health is just one of the many reasons why oral health is important. By keeping up a good dental hygiene routine and seeing your prosthodontist in San Diego during American Heart Month and the rest of the year, you could even be saving your life.
About the Author
Dr. Peter Johnson is a board-certified prosthodontist who earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Prosthodontic Certificate from the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists. Whether you seek gum disease treatment, a dental cleaning and exam, or something else to benefit your oral and heart health, Dr. Johnson is ready to help. You can schedule an appointment on his website or by calling (619) 463-3737.