Valentine’s Day is a day to honor the people that you love most. Don’t forget that you should also take the time to love and honor yourself by caring for your heart. The heart is a powerful muscle. Without our hearts, we cannot live. It is essential to do everything possible to take care of your heart. This includes maintaining your dental health. Poor dental health can cause a variety of negative impacts on your overall health, including direct implications to the heart. February is American Heart Month, so why not take this month to show your heart it’s number one in your life? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.
A Connection You Cannot Ignore
Many studies prove that periodontal disease and heart disease share a connection that impacts an individual’s overall health and well-being. Most people refer to periodontal disease as gum disease. This occurs when an infection of the tissue in the gums occurs. It’s usually the result of inadequate tooth care. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to a variety of problems, including tooth decay and tooth loss.
Heart disease can lead to a heart attack as well, even in people as young as 40 years old. Heart disease occurs when a person’s blood flow to the heart is blocked due to a blood clot. If the clot completely stops the blood flow, the arteries slowly die and a heart attack is a result.
People with gum disease are three times more likely to suffer from a stroke or heart attack. Research continues to prove the connection. And while that is bad news for anyone who doesn’t take care of their teeth, you can break the connection by making oral health a top priority in your life.
A few tips that can reduce the risks of being affected by gum disease or heart disease:
- Brush your teeth two times each day, for two minutes each session. Do not forget to brush the tongue and the back of the teeth.
- Floss your teeth once a day to remove particles and debris stuck between the teeth that brushing alone does not remove.
- Schedule dental exams twice per year, per recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA.) These bi-annual exams reveal any oral health problems before they cause major concerns. Patients also receive a tooth cleaning at each exam. It’s the best way to maintain a great smile.
- Stop using tobacco. You’ll feel better, your overall health improves, and your smile is brighter!
- Age, genetics, and your diet impact your risks for periodontal disease. Discuss any risks factors with your dentist
Your oral health plays a big role in your overall health. Make sure you maintain a beautiful smile and keep your heart healthy in the process. You’ll enjoy improved confidence, fewer trips to the doctor and overall improved well-being. Schedule your dental appointment/yearly exam and make this month the month you love your smile a little bit more.