Sometimes, protecting your heart from harm is easier said than done. It can be difficult to convince yourself to go to the gym when fast food and a movie marathon sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Even if you struggle to get yourself work out more often and do other things that are good for you, there is one unexpected way that you can take care of your heart: through having a healthy smile. Read on to learn how oral health issues like gum disease can do damage to your cardiovascular system and how you can prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that is often caused by poor oral hygiene and can cause inflammation, redness, tenderness, and bleeding when you brush or floss. Though it’s easy to treat if caught early on, advanced gum disease can lead to jawbone deterioration, loose teeth, gum recession, and tooth loss. The infection may also spread and cause lasting damage to other parts of the body.
Oral Health & Your Heart
If you leave gum disease untreated, it can lead to complications in other parts of the body, including the heart. In fact, those living with gum infections are up to three times as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or another major cardiovascular event. Additionally, chronic inflammation can cause heart problems like atherosclerosis, which makes the arteries thicken or harden and can cause patients to have a stroke or heart attack.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Along with brushing your teeth two times per day and flossing before bed, some other ways you can lower your risk of gum disease include:
- Say no to tobacco – Smoking makes people several times more likely to develop gum disease. It can also lead to oral and several other kinds of cancer. Work with your doctor, therapist, and other medical professionals to cut it out of your life.
- Eat a healthy diet – Make sure to eat a diet of low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean meat, and fresh fruits and veggies to get the vitamins and nutrients your smile needs to remain healthy.
- Stay hydrated – Dry mouth, which occurs when there isn’t enough saliva being produced, allows the bacteria that cause gum disease to flourish. Make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent this issue. You can also suck on sugar-free candy, chew sugarless gum, or munch on crisp, fresh fruits and veggies to increase saliva production.
- Visit the dentist – Rather than waiting until an oral health issue arises, make a point of visiting your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. This will allow them to identify and treat problems before they have the chance to do any lasting damage.
As you can see, having an unhealthy smile can do a lot of damage to your cardiovascular system. Make sure to follow the above tips to maintain a beautiful smile and a healthy, well-functioning heart!
About the Practice
Dr. Beverly Rose and her skilled team at Exceptional Dentistry offer the best care around to their Melbourne patients. They take a more individualized approach to dentistry and are committed to offering a range of quality oral health treatments, including checkups and cleanings. Additionally, if poor oral hygiene leads to gum disease, they can administer treatment to get your smile back on track. They also offer cozy blankets, complimentary coffee and tea, and hot towels to ensure that you feel right at home. Visit their website or call them at (321) 259-4666 for more information or to make an appointment.