How Gum Disease Can Affect Your Heart

 In Dentistry, Gum Disease, Oral Hygiene, San Antonio Dentist

While we often think of oral health as separate from our overall well-being, emerging research reveals a significant connection between gum disease and heart health. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects the tissues surrounding the teeth. The dental professionals here at Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental want to shed some light on the intricate relationship between gum disease and your heart health.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease begins with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed through proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, leading to inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that affects the tissues and bone supporting the teeth.

The Connection to Heart Health

Research suggests that the inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease can contribute to the development or worsening of cardiovascular conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and endocarditis. While the exact mechanism behind this connection is still under investigation, it is believed that the inflammation caused by gum disease may increase inflammation throughout the body, including in the blood vessels of the heart.

Reducing Your Risk

The good news is that maintaining good oral hygiene habits can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and its potential impact on your heart health. Here are some informed advice tips to help protect your oral and cardiovascular health:

  1. Brush and Floss Regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
  2. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups: Routine dental visits allow your dentist to detect and treat gum disease in its early stages before it progresses.
  3. Quit Smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease and heart disease. Quitting smoking can improve your oral and overall health.
  4. Eat a Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains supports oral and heart health.
  5. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and increase inflammation, making you more susceptible to gum disease and heart problems. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

The link between gum disease and heart health underscores the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits and prioritizing regular dental care. By taking proactive steps to prevent and treat gum disease, you not only protect your smile but also support the health of your heart. If you have any questions about your own oral health and periodontitis risks, call Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental today at (210) 877-2273, or request an appointment here:

Wurzbach Family Dental is a San Antonio Dentist office with cutting-edge technology, exceptional customer service, and a warm and comfortable environment. We write about the latest news in the industry and provide dental tips for our patients.
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