The Relationship Between Oral and Heart Health

February 6, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dooley @ 1:10 am
person holding a paper heart

February is commonly associated with Valentine’s Day, a time when many couples exchange flowers, chocolates, and gifts to express their love on the 14th. While Valentine’s Day is a significant cultural event, February is also recognized as American Heart Health Month, focusing on cardiovascular health. Surprisingly, maintaining good oral health can contribute to a healthier heart. Explore the connection between oral health and heart health in the following discussion.

The Link Between Oral Health & Your Heart

Gum disease, a bacterial infection affecting the gums, typically begins with the accumulation of plaque. When plaque remains on teeth for an extended period, it hardens into tartar along the gum line. As tartar cannot be removed without professional intervention, regular dental cleanings are essential.

While gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, is easily treatable, unchecked progression can lead to systemic complications beyond oral health. Research suggests a correlation between gum infections and an increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes, underscoring the importance of oral hygiene for overall health.

Moreover, gum disease often leads to inflammation, which, if prolonged, can impact heart health. While acute inflammation aids in fighting infections and promotes healing, chronic inflammation may lead to health issues such as atherosclerosis. This condition involves the thickening or hardening of arteries, increasing the risk of strokes or heart attacks.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Thankfully, gum disease is preventable with simple measures. Effective strategies to avoid this oral health concern include:

  • Brush – Brush your teeth for two minutes every morning and night to remove food particles, plaque, and harmful bacteria. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen teeth and a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent enamel damage.
  • Floss – Before bedtime or after your final meal of the day, be sure to floss your teeth. This helps remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush may not reach.
  • Say no to tobacco – Smokers are at a significantly higher risk of developing gum disease compared to nonsmokers. Quitting smoking can greatly reduce the likelihood of oral health problems. Seek support from your dentist, therapist, or doctor for assistance in quitting if needed.
  • Visit the dentist – Schedule a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. These appointments are crucial for identifying oral health issues in their early stages, allowing for prompt treatment before they worsen.

By prioritizing your oral health, you’re also supporting the health of your heart. Follow these tips to ensure your cardiovascular system stays strong while you flaunt a radiant smile!

About the Practice

For exceptional oral health services and a radiant smile, entrust Dooley Dental. Under the guidance of Dr. Edward J. Dooley, our committed team prioritizes comprehensive treatments, transparency, and unparalleled customer care. We take pride in offering a wide range of exceptional oral health services, including checkups, cleanings, and periodontal therapy, to ensure your overall well-being remains excellent. With our highly skilled staff, we prioritize your comfort and aim to leave you with a heightened sense of well-being. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (732) 974-2288 or visit our website.

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