How Dental Health Affects Your Heart

How Dental Health Affects Your Heart

Sep 16, 2013

Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues that support teeth. It is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Although there has been no concrete data relating gum disease prevention and a lower risk of heart disease, there does appear to be a connection. In fact, in a statement made in April 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) did support an association between the two diseases. However, the AHA has been careful to point out the need for further scientific evidence.

Heart disease causes narrowing of the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. It puts people at risk of heart attacks and stroke. Heart disease and gum disease certainly share risk factors. People who smoke and people with diabetes are at an increased risk of both diseases.

While studies continue, the American Dental Association recommends that people continue to prevent gum disease and heart disease by doing the following:

  • Brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Flossing daily or using an interdental cleaner each day
  • Eating a balanced diet

The most important thing you can do to ensure good oral health is to have professional cleanings every 6 months and visit the dentist for regular exams. That will give your dentist the opportunity to identify signs of gum disease early. Then the appropriate steps can be taken to treat it.

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