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The Relationship Between Oral and Heart Health

February 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — lubbockdentist @ 3:57 am
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February is commonly associated with love and romance. Each year, countless couples exchange flowers, chocolates, and other gifts to express their affection on the 14th day of the month. However, beyond Valentine’s Day, February also marks American Heart Health Month, an occasion dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular health. While it may seem unexpected, maintaining good oral health can actually contribute to a healthier heart. Keep reading to discover more about the connection between oral health and heart health.

The Link Between Oral Health & Your Heart

Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums, typically initiates with the accumulation of plaque. When plaque remains on the teeth for an extended period, it solidifies along the gum line, transforming into tartar. As tartar cannot be eliminated without professional intervention, a dental cleaning is necessary. Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, is easily treatable.

However, if left untreated, gum disease can extend beyond the mouth, leading to complications elsewhere in the body. Research indicates that individuals with gum infections are up to three times more likely to experience a significant cardiovascular event, such as a stroke or a heart attack.

Furthermore, inflammation is a prevalent consequence of gum disease and may lead to heart complications if prolonged. While acute inflammation aids the body in fighting infections and expedites healing, chronic inflammation can contribute to health issues such as atherosclerosis. This condition causes arteries to thicken or harden, potentially resulting in strokes or heart attacks.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Thankfully, preventing gum disease is straightforward. Effective methods to avoid the onset of this oral health concern include:

  • Brush – Brush your teeth for two minutes both in the morning and before bed to remove food particles, plaque, and harmful bacteria. Utilize fluoride toothpaste for enamel strength and a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage.
  • Floss – Before bedtime or after your final meal of the day, remember to floss your teeth. This helps eliminate plaque and food particles that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Say no to tobacco – Smokers are at higher risk of gum disease than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking can prevent oral health problems. Seek resources from your dentist, therapist, or doctor for support in quitting.
  • Visit the dentist – Schedule a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. These appointments are essential for early detection and treatment of oral health issues.

Ensuring the health of your smile is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. By following the tips provided above, you can support the proper functioning of your cardiovascular system while showcasing a beautiful smile!

About the Practice

At Dr. Kevin Shively’s practice in Lubbock, the caring team recognizes the significance of preserving a resilient smile for maintaining heart health. They are dedicated to providing a variety of exceptional oral health services, including checkups, cleanings, and periodontal therapy, to uphold both your oral and overall health. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about maintaining good oral health, visit Dr. Shively’s website or contact their office at (806) 698-8660.

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