Heart disease is a serious issue for adults in the United States, responsible for over 600,000 deaths each year. Most patients are aware of the risk factors that can contribute to the chances of developing heart disease, including smoking, poor diet, and obesity. But did you also know that gum disease can increase your risk of developing heart disease? To protect your oral health AND heart, work with your dentist to ensure your smile is not contributing to your risk!
Heart disease and gum health
Gum disease, or “periodontal disease,” is a preventable infection that can occur due to the development of bacteria that is found in the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Without a proper diagnosis and treatment, this bacteria can cause inflammation and infection that contributes to the loss of bone, gum tissues, and teeth. Continued research also finds that there is a direct link between the bacteria in the mouth that develops with periodontal disease and the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The bacteria in the mouth can enter into the bloodstream, stick to platelets, and cause the formation of clots that reduce the proper flow of blood to the heart. This clotting can cause a heart attack and contribute to cardiovascular issues. Additionally, patients with periodontal disease may also have an increased risk of heart arrhythmia and stroke.
How can I protect my heart health with my dentist?
The best way to reduce your risk of heart disease from association with your oral health is to brush your teeth after every meal, floss at least once a day, visit the dentist every six months, and call a professional as soon as problems arise. These steps can ensure protection against tooth decay and periodontal disease, and allow for improved heart health as well!
Take charge of your overall health with the assistance of your dentist
Dr. Michael Westman and his team of professionals in Racine, WI are here to assist patients in the community with improving and maintaining their oral health and wellness. If you are interested in booking an appointment with our staff, call (262) 639-7000 today to speak to our front office team.