Can Oral Health Affect Your Heart?
February is recognized as American Heart Health Month and is designed to raise awareness of the widespread problem of heart disease in the United States. While this is certainly a valuable promotion, what does it have to do with our West Caldwell dental office? We’re glad you asked. Join us as we do our part in raising awareness on the lesser known contributor to heart disease, your oral health.
Oral Health Link to Overall Wellness
While it may appear as your oral health is independent of the rest of your body, quite the opposite is true. Years of research has found a positive correlation between oral health and overall health. There have even been reports of certain oral health problems being linked to diabetic complications, certain cancers, and yes, heart disease.
Take a Good Look at the Gums
The oral health and systemic health connection is all about gum health. Gums are often a forgotten crucial piece to a healthy mouth, but not for your dentist in West Caldwell. At every visit, we pay close attention to your gums. Why? We’re looking for any sign of gum disease – which is a serious infection that can progress into gingivitis or periodontitis and lead to tooth loss. But what’s perhaps even more concerning is the link between gum disease and heart disease.
Gum Disease & Heart Disease
When gum disease isn’t treated, it not only puts your teeth in danger, it increases your risk of heart disease as well. An untreated infection will advance in nature and even transfer into different parts of the body. In this situation, gum disease can easily move into the bloodstream. If this occurs, your body will produce an excess of C-reactive protein (CRP). Too much CRP can lead to:
- Inflamed arteries
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
Recognize the Signs of Gum Disease
We know that it’s important to get gum disease treated. But it’s also important to get it treated quickly. Since gum disease can begin rapidly, knowing the signs is a great first step to an early diagnosis and successful treatment. Keep an eye out for:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Puffy, tender gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that feel loose
If you notice any signs of gum disease, we welcome you to call our dental office in West Caldwell to schedule an appointment. We’ll work with you to protect your smile, and your heart.