Like most adults, you probably already know the basics of heart health, like reducing red meat and getting enough exercise on a day-to-day basis. But, have you ever given any thought to the link between your periodontal (gum) health and your heart? While you are considering how you can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues, look to brushing and flossing first. Keep reading to learn more about what we know about the connection between your gums and your heart health from your dentist in Columbus.
How Your Gums and Heart Are Linked
Studies show that patients who have gum disease are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular issues like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In fact, the risk may be even higher than for patients with gum disease than for those with high cholesterol. Why is that? It has to do with inflammation, which is your body’s natural response to infection. In small doses, inflammation is a good thing, because it helps you get over bug bites and scrapes. But chronic inflammation, like that which occurs with gum disease, can cause serious issues — perhaps the greatest of which is increasing the risk of developing other inflammatory issues, especially those in the cardiovascular system. That’s why patients who have chronic inflammation in the gums due to periodontal disease are far more likely to experience heart trouble linked to inflammation.
Fortunately, reducing inflammation in one area of the body can decrease it elsewhere, so seeking gum disease treatment may improve your cardiovascular health as well. Gum disease treatment may include a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup or more in-depth surgical treatment for advanced cases of periodontal disease.
Preventing Gum Disease Is Easy
Because the risk of gum disease and heart conditions increases with age, excellent oral hygiene and routine preventive dental care are especially important for older adults. The best way to keep your gums healthy as you age is to practice regular maintenance by brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice annually for routine checkups and cleanings. Patients who are at a higher risk of developing gum disease may benefit from even more frequent appointments. Maintaining a balanced diet and staying away from tobacco will also support better oral and overall health.
When was your last visit to your general dentist’s office? If it has been more than six months or if you are concerned about your periodontal health, it’s time to schedule an appointment! Your complete smile and lasting health relies on routine dental care.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Eric P. Buck, DDS and Associates offer comprehensive care in a state-of-the-art office at Creative Smiles. With treatment plans firmly grounded in preventive dentistry, this team offers whole-health focused care. Feel free to get in touch with the office at 614-459-7766.