Your heart and your oral health – what’s the connection?
This month heralds the arrival of Heart Month, a time where everyone is encouraged to make small steps that lead to a healthier lifestyle. It might surprise you to know that one of the best ways you can help protect your heart is to take your oral health seriously.
That’s because there is substantial evidence to show that the state of your oral health has a direct link to your heart. For instance, it’s known that if you have moderate to advanced gum disease, you’re at a higher risk of heart disease than someone with healthy gums. Furthermore, your oral health can also indicate other diseases and conditions, including those in the heart.
How is oral health and heart disease linked?
If you have bacteria and germs in your mouth, it can spread to other parts of your body through your blood stream. When these bacteria get to your heart, they can attach to it and cause inflammation. This can lead to illnesses like endocarditis, which is a serious infection of the heart’s lining. Other heart disease like clogged arteries and stroke have also been linked to inflammation caused by poor oral hygiene.
How can I help to protect my heart?
Maintaining good oral hygiene procedures is key in helping to protect your heart. This means brushing at least twice a day, using dental floss or interdental brushes daily and steering clear of eating too many sweets and drinking sugary drinks. The other key thing to do is to ensure that you have a dental check-up every six months. This will allow your dentist to spot any potential problems before they get out of hand and wreak havoc with your oral health.
How do I know if I’ve already got gum disease?
Some of the things to look out for include:
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
- Swollen, red gums that are tender to the touch
- Bad breath, despite brushing your teeth regularly
- Some of your teeth feel loose
- Your gums are receding
Is gum disease treatable?
Fortunately, your dentist can help you treat gum disease and can give you tips and tricks to make sure it doesn’t return. If you suspect you might have gum disease, it’s worth investing in your future health by having a quick dental examination. If you’re looking for an Edenbridge-based dentist that can help you maintain great oral health, please call us today on: 01732 865021.