We all know our toothbrush to be a valuable tool towards our smile health. However, did you know that it can also benefit your heart health? It is recommended that you floss your teeth daily as well as brush twice a day for two minutes each session. How does your current dental hygiene routine measure up?
While skipping a brushing here or there won’t cause notable harm, there are some serious consequences that can develop if you slack off on your brushing and flossing efforts for long periods of time. What may surprise you is that the impact can go beyond your mouth. Disregarding your dental health can lead to periodontal disease, which we know to be linked to serious overall health issues such as stroke, premature birth, diabetes and heart attack.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Events
According to a CDC study, half of Americans have gum disease. This is an a chronic inflammatory disease that begins when the gum tissues become irritated and infected from bacteria and plaque buildup. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss as well as inflammation and complication in other parts of your body – like your heart!
While it may seem crazy, countless studies have shown that gum health is linked to cardiovascular health. Researchers believe that the bacteria that is present in gum disease can actually travel throughout the body and cause inflammation in the heart vessels and valves. This may lead to heart disease, stroke and other vascular events. Preventing heart problems associated with gum disease means keeping bacteria and plaque under control, and we do that with our toothbrush and floss each day.
Warning Signs of Early Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is highly treatable when caught early. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. If you find yourself experiencing gingivitis symptoms below, then it is time to visit your dentist for a cleaning so that you can avoid the serious impact of gum disease on your whole-body health.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Receding gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Can you do a better job of brushing your teeth each day? Do you need to schedule a professional cleaning with your dentist? Call West Hill Family Dental today. Your smile and your heart will thank you!