​Are Heart Disease and Oral Health Related?

heart disease dental healthIn 2012 the American Heart Association (AHA) published a study that provided substantial evidence that oral health and heart health are closely related. Researchers found that people who suffer from gum disease (aka “periodontal disease”) are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.

Dentists have long known that gum disease can cause cavities and eventual tooth loss. Medical science is now realizing that what goes on inside your mouth can negatively affect other parts of your body. Maintaining good oral health is essential for keeping the rest of your body healthy and normal.

How Can Gum Disease Cause Heart Disease?

Scientists think that the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria. They surmise that infected gum tissue can be broken down by harmful bacteria, thereby allowing the bacteria easy entry into other parts of the body through the bloodstream.

When a person starts to brush or chew, the bacteria can enter into the bloodstream and move to different parts of the circulatory system such as the heart. Over time arterial plaque will build up to the point where serious issues can occur.

Researchers have found oral bacteria in the fatty deposits of those who have atherosclerosis. This, in turn, can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

Importance of Brushing and Flossing

Adults over the age of 35 are highly susceptible to losing teeth due to gum disease. It’s been said that three out of every four adults will be affected by gum disease at some point in their life. The best way to prevent periodontal disease and cavities is to use proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Bacterial plaque causes both tooth decay and periodontal disease. It is a colorless film that forms on all tooth surfaces. By brushing your teeth every day, you can remove this layer of germs and help prevent decay and disease.

Sometimes an antiseptic mouthwash can also help lower the bacteria counts in your mouth. For it to be effective, you should always use the mouthwash in conjunction with brushing and flossing. Mouthwash alone cannot get rid of plaque on the teeth – it will only kill the bacteria for a little while.

What Else Can Bad Oral Health Impact?

Researchers have found a strong correlation between cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Further studies have suggested that those with diabetes will benefit significantly from a professional tooth cleaning.

Your mouth is the entryway into your body. If it’s not properly cleaned and maintained, all sorts of bacteria can enter into your bloodstream and start causing other health issues such as:

• Pregnancy complications

• Erectile dysfunction

• Cancer

• Dementia

Bad oral health can also affect your teeth. If you have severe enough dental problems, it can cause total tooth loss. Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can reconstruct your mouth thoroughly and give you a brand-new set of teeth as well as the confidence to finally smile once again!

How to Maintain Your Oral Health

If you’re starting to get scared after reading the above few paragraphs – good!

These reasons and more are why dentists have long been saying that it’s critically important to take care of your oral health. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to keep up your health:

• Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks

• Quit or lower the amount of alcohol you drink

• Stop smoking

• Brush your teeth twice daily with ADA-recommended toothpaste

• Floss between meals

The other thing you can do is to visit your dentist on a regular basis. Brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis are no substitute for a dental visit.

A professional dental teeth cleaning can reach and remove plaque buildup that regular brushing and flossing can miss. The dentist also has the unique advantage of being able to look directly inside your mouth for areas that you might have missed or were unable to reach.

Dentists will also be able to pick up on signs that might indicate the early formation of a cavity or gum disease. This preventative care is essential if you want to maintain good oral health.

Gum Disease Treatment in Chicago

If you haven’t been brushing and flossing regularly, there are several available treatment options which can get your oral health back to a normal level.

In more severe cases, mild lasers can be used to manually remove areas of bacteria that have accumulated over time, which in turn can help improve your oral health.

If you currently suffer from gum disease, all hope is not lost. To tell what stage of gum disease you might have, and what treatment options are available, you’ll need to make a dental appointment to be examined.

At Water Tower Dental Care, we specialize in making our patients feel comfortable and welcome. We use the latest state-of-the-art dental tools that will help improve your oral health and make your smile look like a million bucks!