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The Little-Known Connection Between Gum and Heart Health

February 22, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — laithfamily @ 2:53 pm

woman showing pink spot on gumsIt’s a well-known fact among health professionals that the condition of your oral health can be reflected in your total wellness. If you have gum (periodontal) disease, it could eventually lead to heart problems. As part of the commemoration of February as National Heart Health Month, read on to learn how periodontal therapy in San Antonio can improve more than just your gum health!

The Connection Between Your Gum and Heart Health

As time goes by, medical professionals are discovering, more-and-more, how interrelated health really is. Their revelation is supported by data that shows correlations between what, at first glance, seems to be unrelated parts of the body. An example is the link between gum and heart health, with the connecting bridge being dental plaque. If the latter is allowed to accumulate in the mouth, it can eventually enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. This can lead to inflammation and plaque formation in the arteries, the results of which can be heart disease or cardiac arrest. Thus, it’s of the utmost importance to take care of your gums.

How Gum Disease Starts

The prime contributor to gum disease is plaque that has seeped beneath the gum line to cause germ pockets to form, but the sticky-clear substance doesn’t just appear from “thin-air.” It’s formed when hundreds of different types of oral bacteria mix with saliva over time. The leading contributor to its development is dental negligence.

Thus, one of the goals of medical professionals during National Heart Health Month is to help the public recognize one of the key peripheral contributors to poor cardiovascular health.

How to Protect Yourself

There is nothing complicated about maintaining your gum health. Here are some simple steps you can take:

  • Make oral hygiene a priority, which should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day.
  • Limit your consumption of sugar, as it’s the food of choice of oral bacteria.
  • Make it a point to visit your dentist every six months for preventive care. Therefore, any plaque development or early signs of gum disease can be identified and treated.

What Can be Done for Gum Disease?

If you’re diagnosed with gum disease, one of the more common ways of treating it is to receive a deep cleaning. The two-step procedure involves the dentist using special tools to remove plaque and oral bacteria below the gum line, which is referred to as scaling. Next, the dentist will smooth the roots of your teeth (referred to as root planing) to prevent any new oral bacteria accumulation.

Once your oral health is restored, you’ll need to visit more frequently to ensure the infection hasn’t returned. By being proactive, you’ll be able to maintain a functional smile and better protect your heart health!

About the Author

A graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California, Dr. Racha W. Kadamani has been offering top-notch dental care for the past 18 years. She provides preventive care and treats gum disease at Laith Family Dentistry, and she can be reached for more information through her website.

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