While more research is necessary, past studies have shown a possible connection between oral health and heart health. Researchers found a connection between tooth loss patterns and coronary artery disease. The studies also showed those with moderate to advanced gum disease may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease.
Below, we covered what you need to know about the connection between oral health and heart health.
Gum disease and heart problems
Recent studies have shown that there is a possible connection between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, usually starts with infection or inflammation of the gums. Bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream and make their way to the heart, possibly causing inflammation. Long-term inflammation can lead to health issues like endocarditis and atherosclerosis, both of which can cause major damage to the heart.
There’s enough evidence supporting the connection between heart disease and gum disease that you shouldn’t take it lightly. It’s important to avoid getting gum disease even without the heart health connection, as it can lead to problems like tooth loss. It’s also been linked with diabetes, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs of gum disease
Occasionally, it can be difficult to spot the symptoms of gum disease, especially in the early stages. There are usually some warning signs, including swollen gums, bad breath, a receding gum line and loose teeth. Don’t take any of these symptoms lightly, as they will likely progress over time. See the dentists at Fioritto Family Dental as soon as possible and ask if you should start treatment for gum disease.
Preventing gum disease
While gum disease is common, it’s easy to prevent. A good oral hygiene routine will keep your smile beautiful and reduce your chances of developing gum disease.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss. Replace your toothbrush once every few months and routinely rinse your mouth with a top-quality mouthwash. Also, avoid smoking and try to avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
There are a variety of treatments available for gum disease, including professional dental cleanings, bone grafts and flap surgery. Dentists base treatment options on how far the disease has progressed.
Schedule regular check-ups with the dentists at Fioritto Family Dental and your doctor
Since gum disease is hard to spot, it’s important to visit our dentists on a regular basis. The key to treating gum disease is catching it early. If your dentist spots signs of gum disease during a check-up, they’ll start you on a treatment program right away.
Regular visits to your medical doctor are also important, especially for avoiding life-threatening illnesses. Don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you experience any symptoms of heart problems, which may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, weakness and cough. As with periodontal disease, treating heart disease is easier when it’s caught early.
If you live in Lake County and are looking for a good dentist, schedule an appointment with Fioritto Family Dental. Our team of dental professionals will work hard to make you feel comfortable during every visit.