What if taking care of your teeth could help to take care of your heart?
Most of us brush our teeth every day but how often do we actually take a look at and examine our gums and take the time to see if our mouth appears healthy?
Healthy gums are pale pink, sit tight to the teeth, fill the gap between the teeth and do not bleed when brushed or flossed.
There are good reasons to keep an eye on your gums and take the time to keep them healthy as bacteria under the gum line does not only affect the mouth.
More and more research studies show a connection between gum inflammation, tooth loss and increased risk of heart attacks.
If your gums are red, swollen or bleed when brushing, this is a sign of inflammation.
Inflammation in one part of your body will cause inflammation in other parts of your body – everything is interlinked.
If problems with your gums persist, you should see a dentist because once you get bacteria under the gum line, it is difficult to remove it by yourself.
More and more research is confirming the connection between gum health, tooth loss and cardiovascular disease.
The risk of heart attack is 30 percent greater for patients who have periodontal (gum) disease, compared to those who don’t.
Also, the risk of having a cardiovascular event is greater for those who had already suffered one and who also have periodontal disease.
But how does lazy, poor or ineffective tooth brushing contribute to atherosclerosis and heart attacks?
Gum disease called periodontitis begins with an accumulation of bacteria at the gum line causing an inflammatory reaction in the gums.
The gums swell and detach from the tooth and supporting bone, trapping more bacteria under the gum line. And if that process is allowed to continue, jawbone and gum tissue begins to break down.
In cases of inflammation, small wounds on the inside of the gum pocket cause bacteria to leak into the bloodstream.
This leakage of inflammatory substances affects the atherosclerosis process in the blood vessels.
The plaque that builds up in the arteries is the same as the plaque that builds up on the teeth and under the gums.
More and more studies show a connection between periodontal disease and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and intestinal diseases.
Inflammation of the mouth is not the only cause of other diseases, but rather something that interacts with another ongoing chronic inflammation.
For patients with diabetes, treatments that reduce oral inflammation contribute to lower blood glucose levels.
Periodontal disease is relatively uncommon before the age of 40 and as we are keeping more teeth as we age, this also means an increased load on the gums.
Two important risk factors for gum disease are smoking and genes.
However, the biggest risk factor is poor or inadequate oral hygiene.
Genetics can make you more prone to developing gum disease. But genes alone do not drive the development or progression of the disease.
In the vast majority of cases, thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and flossing is enough to keep the gums healthy.
The message is simple – take care of your gums and not only will you get to take care of your smile but the health of your heart and cardiovascular system too.
Regular dental checks and hygiene care whereby we professionally remove plaque and tartar to prevent, treat and reduce the impacts of gum infection and gum inflammation are a must to help you improve and or maintain your gum health and thus take care of your heart.
To take care of your teeth and gums as well as your overall health book an appointment today 07 3720 1811 and let us take care of your gums and your health.