When you think of February and hearts, you might think of Valentine’s Day. However, February is also American Heart Month and therefore a great time for Dr. Fitz to shed some light on the connection between your oral health and heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and surprisingly, many studies have shown there is a strong connection between oral health and heart health. Understanding the warning signs your oral health provides can be extremely useful to foresee heart problems before it’s too late.
How is Oral Health Connected with Heart Disease?
Your gum health is not only important for a healthy smile, but bacteria and other germs from your mouth can move around the body via your bloodstream and when they reach your heart, they can attach themselves and cause inflammation to the heart. This inflammation can lead to several issues such as infection of the heart lining or clogged arteries.
Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss. Gum disease can be recognized by the following signs.
Red, swollen, and sore to the touch gums
Bleeding gums when you eat, brush, or floss
Pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth
Your gums look as if they are separating from the teeth
You have a bad taste in your mouth or frequently occurring bad breath
Your teeth are loose or feel as if they are moving away from the other teeth
Dr. Fitz recommends that her patients brush and floss their teeth daily, refrain from smoking (a factor linked to both gum disease and heart disease), and also visit Solstice Smiles Dental in Petworth at least twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of you having gum disease in the first place, but Dr. Fitz’s trained eye can notice signs of poor oral health and take action early to reduce the likelihood of serious gum disease.
If you notice any of the warning signs above, please call our dental practice in Petworth immediately to make an appointment and catch any issues before they get more serious.