February is American Heart Month and is a time for us all to be reminded that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.—but what does this have to do with your oral health? Greg L. LaVecchia, DMD shares information about the surprising link between your heart health and oral health below.
According to research, people with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event. Therefore, oral health should be taken seriously when thinking about your overall health.
How Does Gum Disease Relate to Heart Disease?
It all comes down to inflammation. Gum disease is characterized as inflammation of the gums and chronic inflammation can cause issues for the arteries and lead to cardiovascular problems. When you have gum disease, you are also at a higher risk of developing infections if bacteria in the mouth goes into your bloodstream. This can happen easily if you have poor oral hygiene. Oral health and heart health also share risk factors where people who smoke, drink excessively and have a poor diet will suffer from both gum disease and cardiovascular disease.
How to Improve Your Oral Health and Cardiovascular Health?
Good oral health is important for not only having healthy and great looking teeth, but also important for your overall health. Our patients who are concerned with their oral health should speak to our team about ways to improve it. Below are some actions you can take at home to improve your oral health, but one of the most important things is visiting our Arlington dental practice at least twice a year for a check up and professional dental cleaning to help reduce the likelihood of developing periodontal disease.
Brush and Floss
Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day should be a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. If you are guilty of forgetting to brush your teeth, put an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
Update Your Diet
The beginning of the year is a great time for resolutions. It’s important that eating healthy with a diet low in sugary foods and drinks is on that list and continues throughout the year. This can drastically improve your oral health and cardiovascular health.
Stop Old Habits
Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for both bad dental health and bad heart health. Make a decision to take care of your body this year. Dr. LaVecchia’s team can help suggest resources that can help you to quit.
With these shocking statistics, it’s important for your Rosslyn dentist to help you achieve the best oral health possible, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to book an appointment today.