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A Healthy Heart Starts with Your Smile

February 26, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Anthony Giamberardino @ 11:13 pm

Hands cupping red heartDid you know someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 40 seconds? While you might know that a bad diet, smoking, or lack of exercise can contribute to cardiovascular disease, there’s another culprit linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and more. Gum disease is connected to heart disease. Here’s how keeping your gums healthy can boost your heart health.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a preventable infection that’s among the leading causes of tooth loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of Americans have some form of gum disease. It’s caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar from poor oral hygiene habits. 

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of the infection, which causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums. With no treatment, it can destroy the supporting structures of teeth. Eventually, they can loosen and fall out.

The bacteria responsible for the infection can enter the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your health as it circulates throughout your body. 

Gum Disease and Your Health

The American Dental Association and American Heart Association both acknowledge the relationship between gum disease and heart disease. The infection can increase your risk of heart disease by 20%. Besides cardiovascular complications, gum disease is also linked to osteoporosis, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and diabetic complications. It can also lead to premature delivery and low-birth rates. 

It’s best to contact a dentist at the first sign of gum disease. Your dentist will create a personalized treatment plan to stop the infection to restore your gum health. 

Protect Your Smile from Gum Disease

Although gum disease is common, you can keep the infection at bay. Healthy gums start with good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily for 2 minutes, if not after every meal. 

Besides brushing, flossing is equally important. Brushing alone can leave up to 40% of your teeth uncleaned. Flossing removes food particles and plaque missed by your toothbrush. Floss between each tooth daily. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill any bacteria left behind by your toothbrush and floss.

It’s also important to visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll remove any buildup and monitor your oral health for any changes, like gum inflammation. If you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, kick the habits because both can affect your immune system, which can increase your risk of infections. 

Committing to your smile is a simple way to keep your mouth and heart healthy. It’s never too late to revamp your oral hygiene routine.

About Dr. Anthony Giamberardino

Dr. Giamberardino earned his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly pursued continuing education in many specialties, like preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through our website or call (339) 674-6725.

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