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Can Your Gums Reflect Your Heart Health?


Posted on 6/10/2017 by Janie Scholes
A patients mouth suffering from gum disease.
Often a result of poor oral hygiene, gum disease is a serious infection of the gum tissue. What starts out as red, swollen gums, can quickly advance, as bacteria travel below the gum line.

From there, bacteria attack your gums, your teeth and your jawbone. In short, gum disease has a significant impact on your oral health. But did you know it can be indicative of your heart health as well?

What's the Link?
The link connecting gum disease to poor heart health is inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by gum disease, and often one of the earliest warning signs. It occurs as a response to bacterial attack.

As gum disease progresses, bacteria can enter the blood stream, traveling to the heart, and trigger an inflammatory response in the arteries.

As a result of inflammation, the arteries harden, making it difficult for blood to travel through, significantly raising your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Lifestyle Habits Also Play a Role with Gum Disease

Those who suffer from more severe stages of gum disease tend to have poor lifestyle habits. They smoke (or use other tobacco products), drink in excess, eat poorly and just generally don't take good care of themselves. All of these factors raise your risk of heart, and other health, problems.

What Can You Do?
Oral care is key to preventing gum disease, and helping to lower your risk of developing heart problems. Brush at least twice a day, and floss daily to get the harder to reach spaces between your teeth. You should also visit your dentist regularly, at least twice a year, for cleanings and exams. Your dentist can spot, and treat, issues before they get out of hand.

Taking proper care of your mouth is important not just for your oral health, but for your overall health, including your heart health, too. If you notice early warning signs of gum disease, or suspect you might have it, do not wait until your next dentist visit. Contact our office right away.




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