February is American Heart Month and what better time to discuss the crucial link between your oral health and heart disease.
Astoundingly, in the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, one out of every two adults over 30 years of age has periodontal disease.
Did you know that something as simple as brushing/ flossing regularly and seeing your dentist at least two times per year may save your life?
Scientists have established a link between periodontal (gum) disease and your heart health.
When you have gum disease bacteria from your mouth is able to enter your bloodstream through your inflamed and damaged gums. This oral bacteria then has access to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream and can stick to them, contributing to blockages. This bacteria can also trigger an inflammatory response, which causes the blood vessels to swell and reduces blood flow. The first step in treating your total health is a diagnosis. As a patient of Dr. Bertolini, your gum health is charted annually by our hygiene team and we are always on the lookout for initial symptoms.
Research also shows that when gum disease is treated promptly and completely, your blood vessel health can improve in as little as six months. This is great news! Even though some factors may be genetic, you have control over prevention and reversal with good habits.
While a comprehensive annual examination is the only way to diagnose periodontal disease, below is a list of symptoms for you to look out for while caring for your or a loved ones’ mouth.
Symptoms of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
- Bleeding when flossing or brushing your teeth
- Vague gum soreness
- A change in the way your bite fits together
- Receding, red, puffy looking gums – may also be pulling away from your teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in mouth
Simple changes and habits can greatly impact your periodontal health. Below are some tips to remember when caring for your mouth.
8 Tips to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
- Brush thoroughly twice daily, in the morning & before bed.
- Brush your tongue, remember that white coating we get in the morning is
plaqueand if you get rid of it, you get rid of bad breath and the breeding ground for bacteria.
- Use a mouth rinse containing xylitol.
- Floss daily.
- See your dentist at least 2 times a year.
- Avoid sticky sweet foods, the prolonged contact causes damage to your teeth.
- Don’t smoke. Tobacco increases your risk of gum disease & makes the disease more difficult to treat. If you need resources to stop smoking. This website can help you get started, how to make a plan to quit,
reminderyou of why you should quit smoking, and explains the health hazards of each type of tobacco product.
- SMILE more 🙂 Enjoy those around you and take time to do activities you enjoy – this can help you feel more relaxed and relieve stress – which is healthier for you and everyone around you!
Keep in mind a healthy mouth contributes to a healthy body.
If you have questions about your gum health call today to schedule your complimentary consultation 330-494-6305.