When you go to the dentist, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your heart health. After all, oral hygiene and cardiovascular health are completely unrelated, right? In truth, oral health and heart health are more closely linked than many people realize. Recent studies have revealed that oral health might hold the key to a healthier heart, which can have an impact on a significant amount of people. 

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the gums and bone around your teeth. This is mainly caused by poor oral hygiene. The inflamed areas harbor a multitude of bacteria that are allowed to build up when left untreated. These bacteria weave their way into the bloodstream through the inflamed gums, which can have serious repercussions:

  • Inflammatory Response: Once the bacteria reach other areas of the body, such as the heart, the same inflammation response that occurs in the gums can occur in the heart as well. Specifically, the heart’s blood vessels can become inflamed, contributing to hardening and narrowing of arteries. This increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events.
  • Endocarditis: Endocarditis is inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves. This condition can damage the heart and can lead to more serious problems, including heart failure. One of the causes of this infection is gum disease. When the bacterium from the gums reaches the heart, endocarditis can occur.
  • General Bacteria: The mouth is one of the main gateways to the bloodstream in the body. Simply eating and brushing your teeth puts bacteria into the bloodstream for a short amount of time. When bacteria are built-up in the mouth, the risk of infection increases. 

What You Can Do to Protect Your Oral and Heart Health

Luckily, the formation of gum disease and having unwanted mouth bacteria are completely preventable! Maintaining a strong oral health routine fights bacteria build up and keeps gum disease away. This not only keeps your mouth healthy, but it keeps your heart healthy too.  Here are some tips to stay ahead of gum disease and keep your smile in top shape:

  • Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth twice a day with proper technique to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup. Floss daily to remove bacteria building up between your teeth to ensure healthy gums. 
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Seeing a dentist 1-2 times a year is essential for oral health. Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar that you can’t clear yourself. They can also spot early signs of gum disease and evaluate treatment going forward. 
  • Diet: A heart healthy diet and a tooth friendly diet can go together. Eating foods with low sugar, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables, can reduce the risk of cavities as well as cardiovascular disease. 
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Contact Galloway Dental Today

At Galloway Dental, Dr. Ben Luka leads the way for providing top-notch dental care in Mesquite, TX. They utilize the latest dental technology to ensure all patients receive customized care that gives long-lasting results. Make sure to schedule a checkup today to ensure a heart healthy smile! Call (972) 613-0004 to schedule an appointment.