Did you know that American Heart Association Month and Gum Disease Awareness Month both occur in February? If you think this is sheer coincidence, it’s highly unlikely, especially since the soft tissue surrounding your teeth and the organ that pumps blood through your body are closely connected. In fact, if your gum health is lacking and resulting in inflamed, bleeding, and discolored tissue, it can take very little time for your heart to experience negative effects. To learn how this is possible and what you can do to stop it, read on.
How Gum Disease Can Affect Your Heart
Gum disease attacks the soft tissue of your mouth, causing redness, inflammation, and bleeding to occur. What can start as gingivitis and be easily reversed with regular cleanings and good oral habits practiced at home can quickly progress into periodontitis and possible bone and tooth loss. But that’s not all…
Problems with your oral health aren’t the only negative effects you’ll experience with periodontitis. If the infection and inflammation enter your bloodstream, they can travel to various parts of your body, one of which is your heart. As a result, you can have a heart attack, stroke, develop diabetes, and even high blood pressure. Not to mention the possibility of additional health problems such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, respiratory disease, and premature birth if pregnant.
How to Treat Gum Disease
If you or your dentist discover signs of gum disease, it is imperative that you seek treatment as soon as possible. One way your dentist can treat periodontal disease is with scaling and root planing. This process includes removing plaque and tartar build-up from beneath the gums before smoothing out the tooth root to encourage proper reattachment of the gums to the teeth.
Considered the “gold standard” of treatment, your dentist will use a Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) that targets the harmful bacteria attacking your gums. A small laser clears away the infection and leaves healthy tissue untouched, making the entire scaling and root planing process easier and effective. It may be necessary to seek treatment more often than the traditional six months that is recommended, as this will allow your dentist to stay on top of any possible reinfection.
How to Prevent It in the First Place
If you want your gum health to be at an optimal level, here are a few tips to follow at home:
- Brush your teeth twice daily for two full minutes
- Use fluoride toothpaste or one that is geared for gum disease
- Floss in-between your teeth at least once a day
- Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash twice a day
- Avoid eating too many foods or consuming beverages with sugar
- Quit smoking and using tobacco products
If you want to keep your heart and gums functioning as they should, spend some time talking with your dentist about what you can do to achieve better oral health. By following the steps provided and seeking treatment sooner rather than later, you’ll enjoy a happier, healthier life.
About the Author
Dr. Todd Canatella knows that gum disease is a dangerous problem that causes more than just bone and tooth loss. Negatively impacting a person’s overall health, the infection can spread to various areas of the body and result in serious diseases and conditions that require time and money to control and/or eliminate. In an effort to prevent this chain reaction, he and his team are pleased to provide gum disease treatment that can stop the infection in its tracks and work to restore gum health. To learn how we can help you, visit our website.