Your oral health often takes a back seat to your overall health, but what if they were connected? Recent studies have shown a direct link between the health of your gums and your heart. More specifically, gum disease can increase your risk of serious health conditions like strokes, heart attacks, and more. But what is gum disease and how can it affect your heart? Keep reading to learn the important answers from your dentist in Sacramento.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the gums that is usually caused by poor dental hygiene. When plaque and bacteria build up on the gumline, your tissue can become infected. If caught early, this problem can be completely reversed with regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits. However, if gum disease persists, it can lead to permanent tissue damage, bone deterioration, and even tooth loss. Infection can spread, affecting the rest of your mouth.
How Can I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Common symptoms of this disease include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Red or bleeding gums
- Sensitive or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth that appear longer
- Small pockets beneath your teeth
- Changes in bite
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so, contact your dentist right away.
How Can Gum Disease Affect Your Heart?
Whether you know it or not, every part of your body is connected. When there’s a problem in one part, it can often cause issues in other areas. Bacteria that causes gum disease can get in the bloodstream, leading to inflammation elsewhere in the body. Many studies show that gum disease is linked to an increased risk of problems like heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and more. While the relationship between gum disease and your heart is certain, there still needs to be more research conducted on this phenomenon.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
Thankfully, gum disease, along with the risks it brings, can be completely prevented. It all starts with a good at-home oral healthcare routine. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each, and floss once to remove food debris and bacteria. Angle your brush at 45-degrees on the gumline for the most thorough cleaning. You can also add a nonalcoholic mouthwash to your routine for an extra layer of protection. Additionally, it’s important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. They will be able to prevent and detect gum disease before it persists long enough to affect the health of your heart.
Who knew the key to a happy heart was healthy gums? Remember this information to keep your mouth and body in tip-top shape!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Scott Grivas understands just how important the health of your gums is, which is why he wants you to know about their connection to your heart. He offers various gum disease treatment options to keep you healthy and treatments not just for your teeth, but for your entire body as well. For any questions, he can be reached through his website and by phone at (916) 929-9222.