February 4, 2018
You know that the health of your teeth is vital to protecting your smile from damage, but did you know that your gum health is equally as important? Not only are your gums essential for a healthy smile, but a healthy body as well. In fact, new research further connects the link between periodontal disease and your heart. To promote a healthy mouth and body, it is more important that ever before to maintain your regular care with your dentist in Richardson.
Gum Disease and Your Heart
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a preventable infection that develops in the gum tissue. While 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 suffer from the infection.
When found in the early stages, known as gingivitis, it can be quickly treated without causing any long-term damage. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of the infection, like bleeding and swollen gums, often go ignored. As a result, it destroys the supporting structures of the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss; however, these are not the only complications that can occur.
The bacteria responsible for the infection can enter your bloodstream. As it circulates throughout your body, it wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system. The bacteria cause the body to naturally respond to the infection with inflammation and swelling. This causes fatty deposits to form arterial plaque, which can narrow or block the arteries. In some cases, they may even break loose. This significantly increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
In fact, researchers have recently found that those who have untreated gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. The risk further increases for those who already suffer from high cholesterol. With more than 85 million Americans already having a form of heart disease, it is vital that you remain proactive about your heart health through proper oral hygiene.
Protect Your Mouth and Heart
Although gum disease is very common, you can easily prevent it by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. In addition, floss in between each tooth before going to bed. To further reduce your risk, visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If you develop red, swollen, or bleeding gums in between your routine appointments, do not wait to see your dentist for treatment.
Get a Healthy Smile Today
With your oral health directly linked to influencing your general health, do not risk your well-being. Take the time to care for your teeth and gums each day to protect your mouth and body.
About McDougal and Richards Dentistry
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, we are committed to providing superior dental services to promote optimal oral and overall health. In addition to general dentistry, we use the latest advancements in dentistry to treat periodontal disease. If you suspect that you have gum disease, contact our office right away to schedule an appointment.
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