February in the US is Heart Health Month, which means there has never been a better opportunity to learn more about cardiovascular health. Like many others, your thoughts may not go directly to your mouth when you consider the well-being of your heart, but they are more connected than you may be aware of. Keep reading to learn what your Medford dentist has to share about how your heart relies on the health of your teeth and gums and what you can do to protect them.
Keeping Your Oral Health in Check to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Some require transplants, but if you are like the majority of people, your own heart will be pumping in your chest for the remainder of your life. Of course, you want to take great care of it. You probably already know that eating healthy and getting plenty of regular exercise are things that promote heart health, but have you ever considered the state of your oral health as a contributor? One specific oral issue that has been directly linked to heart illness and stroke is gum disease and it, unfortunately, affects nearly 50% of adults. The good news is that it is completely preventable, and here are several ways you can keep your gums healthy and protect your heart while doing so:
Practice a Regular Oral Hygiene Routine
You probably brush your teeth on a regular basis, but if you’re like 30% of the population, you may not remember the last time you flossed. Brushing and flossing work together to remove plaque and bacteria from your gums and in between your teeth. This bacteria is what is responsible for infecting gums and eventually infiltrating the heart through the soft tissues, so it’s important to be diligent about properly cleaning them on a daily basis.
Don’t Skip Your Regular Dental Checkups
Your life is likely busy, and amidst appointments, events, work, and a plethora of other things, it can be easy to forget to add a dental checkup to that list. However, it is extremely important to see your dentist twice a year so that they can examine your teeth and mouth to make sure there are no signs of oral cancer or gum disease. Early detection is one of the best ways to avoid costly and time-intensive treatments.
It’s no secret that tobacco is a prime offender when it comes to health issues in general, but it is also one of the leading causes of gum disease. Studies show that when compared with non-smokers, those who use tobacco are twice as likely to develop gum and heart disease.
Know if You Are at Risk
Like any other illness, there are some factors that are out of your control that may put you at a higher risk of developing gum disease. For example, children who grow up in areas where the water is extremely concentrated with fluoride or not very clean often struggle with gum problems. Also, those who have a family history of gum disease should be aware of their risk. Another factor is age, and as you grow older, your immune system will weaken, making your gums more susceptible to infection.
The power to prevent gum disease and keep your heart in good shape is in your hands. It’s never too late to start practicing good dental hygiene and prioritizing your oral health!
About the Practice
There’s no one quite like Dr. Anthony Giamberardino when it comes to the highest quality of dental care. His number one priority is educating his patients on how to take great care of their smiles. He has extensive training in all areas of dentistry and has even worked with the Harvard Community Health Plan. His practice is built on trust and long-lasting relationships. Are you ready to schedule your next dental checkup? Request an appointment online or call (781) 396-3800.