If you are a male over 45 or a female over 55, then you are at a higher risk of heart attack than your younger counterparts. February is National Heart Month, and it is the perfect time to think about all of the ways you can ensure you have a healthy heart.
You may not realize how much your oral health impacts the rest of your body. Research indicates that having good oral health can promote health in ways that you would not expect—like a healthy heart!
The Connection Between the Heart and the Smile
The mouth can actually provide some pretty good insights to the rest of your body. In fact, it can indicate when you are not getting enough minerals or vitamins, when you have infections, and even when you are stressed. It will also show signs of problems when you have diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Preventing heart disease is a commitment to your overall health, and that includes your oral health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is considered the number one killer in the United States. There may be a strong connection between your healthy mouth and your healthy heart. Although the research results in this area aren’t completely clear yet, it is always a good idea to work toward having good oral hygiene!
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by poor oral care that leads to plaque and tartar on the teeth. One symptom is that your gums are red or swollen. They may also frequently bleed when you brush your teeth. Gum disease often goes undiagnosed, but it affects roughly 80 percent of all Americans.
Researchers have discovered that gum disease may be directly connected to heart disease and strokes. Now, it may not only be important for your oral health to get a diagnosis regarding gum disease, but it may also be important for your heart.
Inflammation is common between the two diseases, as well as hardening of the arteries. In fact, usually the plaque buildup in the arteries that is associated with heart disease is part of the inflammation process. Inflammation in gum disease occurs when the bacteria take over the mouth and the gums become inflamed and sore.
Having a Healthy Smile Can Lead to a Healthy Heart
If you are concerned about your heart health, you may want to take a hard look at your oral health as well. National Heart Month is a great time to visit Hudec Dental to ensure that your smile is bright and healthy. Call us today to set up an appointment: 216-661-8888.