February 18, 2018
You know that cavity-free teeth are necessary for a healthy smile, but did you know that your gums are equally as important? Not only are they vital for your oral health, but your general health as well, including that of your heart. Among the greatest threat to your gums involves an infection known as periodontal disease (gum disease). It wreaks havoc on your mouth, often leading to tooth loss; however, new research shows that it can also impact the health of your heart as well. Now, it is more important than ever to maintain regular appointments with your dentist in Mesquite to prevent the infection.
Risks for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a preventable infection that occurs due to bacteria that is found in plaque and tartar accumulations. Although it can easily be avoided with proper oral hygiene habits and regular care from your dentist, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over half of adults in the United States have a form of it. Unfortunately, most ignore its early warning signs, allowing it to go undiagnosed and untreated.
When gum disease in not resolved promptly, it leads to the destruction of the supporting structures in your mouth. Over time, this can lead to tooth loss, but this is not the only complication to occur. Now, new research shows a direct link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease.
Link to Your Heart Health
According to a new study, those with gum disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease. The risk further increases for those with high cholesterol. This heightened risk for cardiovascular disease is due to the bacteria responsible for gum disease entering your bloodstream.
As it circulates throughout the body, your immune system responds to it with inflammation and swelling. This causes arterial plaque to form, which can narrow or clog the arteries. In some cases, the blockages may even break loose, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Promote a Healthy Mouth and Heart
With 85 million Americans suffering from cardiovascular disease and 200 million Americans with periodontal disease, it is more important than ever to promote a healthy mouth and body. You can prevent gum disease to protect your smile and your heart with simple steps:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss every night before going to bed
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup
- Avoid tobacco in any form
- Eat a balanced diet
Get a Healthy Smile Today
At the first sign of gum disease, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Do not let bleeding, swollen, or red gums go ignored. Restore your gum health with periodontal therapy today.
About Dr. Byron McKnight
Dr. Byron McKnight provides exceptional dental care to promote optimal oral health. In addition to preventive services, he offers treatment for gum disease to foster a healthy smile and body. If you have signs of periodontal disease, do not wait until it is too late. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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