February is American Heart Month, which is a good time to think about oral health. While they might not seem related, there is a connection between having a healthy heart and having a healthy mouth. Find out more about how your dental health can have an impact on your heart health.
Having gums that are in poor condition can raise your chance of developing heart problems. Gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, is associated with an increased risk of having heart disease, stroke and heart inflammation known as endocarditis. When you have gum disease, especially when it’s left untreated, the bacteria from your mouth can enter your bloodstream and reach other parts of your body, such as your heart. Managing gum problems is an important part of lowering these risks.
Signs of Oral Health Problems
How do you know if you have gum problems that could affect your heart? You might have red or swollen gums, such as when you have gingivitis. In more advanced cases of gum disease, you might have gums that easily bleed when you brush your teeth. You might also have receding gums, chronic bad breath caused by oral bacteria and teeth that start becoming loose.
Protecting Your Oral and Heart Health
Seeing your dentist for cleanings and exams regularly helps prevent gum problems from occurring. Brushing and flossing, as well as having dental problems treated early, are also essential parts of helping your heart and mouth stay in good health.
Looking for a great dental practice for you and your family? Schedule your visit today with Trident General Dentistry.