Seeing your dentist in Reno in order to protect your heart may seem like strange advice, but in fact, there is a strong connection between oral health and heart health. To help celebrate Heart Health Month this February, we’d like to educate our patients and neighbors on just how important regular dental care is to protect not only your mouth but also your heart.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
The main connection between oral health and heart health lies in the gums. Years of research support a positive correlation between gum disease and the increased risk for complications with heart health. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry states that those with gum disease are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those without gum disease. But how does gum health directly affect heart health? It all has to do with the way gum inflammation and infection can affect your heart.
How Can Gum Infections Give You a Heart Attack?
Even though infection of the gums may seem like no cause for concern, nothing could be farther from the truth. Not only does gum disease put your whole body at risk for problems such as diabetic complications and lung conditions, but it can also directly affect your heart health. When gums become infected, the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place aren’t isolated to just the mouth. They can easily enter the bloodstream and cause your body to over-produce something called C-reactive protein (CRP). Increased levels of CRP is a known precursor to heart attacks. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, elevated CRP levels can be more accurate at predicting a heart attack than high cholesterol.
Signs of Gum Disease
Knowing the signs of gum disease can go a long way in getting it treated early before your risk of other health concerns increases. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:
Swollen, red, or tender gums
Bleeding while brushing or flossing
Consistently bad breath
Chronic bad taste in the mouth
Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth
What You Do to Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits at home as well as visit your dentist in Reno at least twice a year for regular checkups. Make sure to brush and floss every single day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup, try to eat a well-balanced diet with limited sugary and acidic foods, and of course, avoid tobacco. It’s also important to share any health problems, changes in your health history, and medications with your dentist at each visit.
This Heart Health Month, and every month, take the steps to protect your oral health. It may just save your life.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day will help you fight cavities and gum disease, and maintain an attractive appearance. So if you brush consistently, and see your dentist for regular dental checkups, you should have nothing to worry about…right? When it comes to daily oral care, you should be careful to make sure that you are thorough in your efforts. If you fail to fully clean your teeth, you can allow plaque to gather, and tartar to form. Patients can discover they need a cavity treatment despite their apparent efforts because of that inconsistency. If you want to fully clean your teeth, you need to work at it effectively. You also need to do more than just brush – to effectively reach those spaces between teeth, you need to floss. Continue reading “Are You Leaving Areas Of Your Smile Unclean When You Brush?”→
Your only means of improving your cavity defense will involve making adjustments to your brushing and flossing habits…right? Actually, if you think of preventive dental care as being just about these actions, you can overlook other ways in which you might be affecting your oral health. Your diet choices can shift your cavity risk in crucial ways. How can you make sure your typical meals and snacks are doing a better job protecting your smile? You may be surprised at how little changes can have a big impact. With a new approach to snacking, or an adjustment to your standard meals, you can make sure you are less likely to need a dental filling or dental crown in the near future. Continue reading “3 Small Diet Changes To Help You Reduce Your Cavity Risk”→
The difference between a healthy smile and cavity trouble may come down to the type of toothpaste you use. At your local grocery store or pharmacy, you likely have a wide variety of toothpaste brands available, with different products boasting different properties. Is your choice delivering on its promises? Should you switch to something more potent? If you want to make sure your toothpaste is doing its job, look for the ADA Seal Of Acceptance. This means that the product you use has been evaluated, and confirmed as effective. Any toothpaste containing this seal of approval will contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that will help your enamel stay strong and healthy, so you are less likely to find yourself in need of professional dental care. Continue reading “Are You Buying The Right Kind Of Toothpaste?”→
Our teeth enjoy considerable protection thanks to their enamel. Enamel keeps them safe when you bite and chew, and the substance is able to resist damage caused by oral bacteria, up to a point. Unfortunately, because enamel does not consist of living cells, breakage can be permanent. However, physical trauma is not the only issue you should worry about when it comes to keeping your enamel safe. Wear and tear over time can cause layers of your enamel to erode. This can make it harder for you to keep your teeth safe from cavities, as they will have less protection. This loss of enamel can also lead to cosmetic dental troubles, as your smile may appear duller. Continue reading “Should You Be Worried About The Condition Of Your Enamel?”→
As Halloween approaches, you may not want to think about how all the sugar in your favorite candy treats can affect your oral health. Unfortunately, cavities can occur at any time of year. When you have too much sugar in your diet, you put yourself in a situation where bacteria on your teeth will produce more harmful acids, which eat into your enamel. The tooth decay that results can call for restorative dental care to stop potentially serious harm. Of course, candy is only one source of sugar in a person’s diet. When you put the proper attention towards your diet, you can reduce your risk for oral health problems, and protect your smile. Continue reading “Is Your Diet Making Trouble For Your Teeth?”→