A Healthy Smile Can Protect Your Heart Health
Gum disease is a serious oral health problem, but did you know it may also impact your heart health? Proper dental care can help reduce the risk of gum disease, protecting your oral health and heart health. General dentistry treatments are an important component of dental care, helping patients to maintain a happy, healthy smile. Dr. Louis Buono offers a range of treatments to meet the needs of each patient. To discuss your treatment options and to learn more about dental care and heart health, schedule a consultation at our Long Island, NY practice today.
Gum Disease and Heart Health
Gum disease is dangerous to oral health, but it may also increase the risk of heart-related health problems. There is a correlation between oral health and heart health; research indicates that patients with severe gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart issues, such as:
- Endocarditis: Bacteria from oral infections, specifically gum disease, may travel through the bloodstream and to the heart, leading to a dangerous condition called endocarditis. Endocarditis is a bacterial infection of the tissue that lines the inside of the heart and its valves. Endocarditis can permanently impair the function of the heart valves, preventing them from fully closing and preventing the heart from pumping blood properly.
- Atherosclerosis: Those with severe gum disease are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, a condition that inhibits blood circulation through the hardening of the blood vessel walls.
- Coronary artery disease and heart attacks: Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up within the arteries. When one or more of these arteries becomes blocked, it may result in a heart attack. Those with severe gum disease are at greater risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack.
Know the Signs of Gum Disease
It's important to seek treatment for gum disease as early as possible to prevent severe dental damage and reduce the risk gum disease poses to heart health. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have gum disease and should seek treatment.
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Pockets between the gums and teeth
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
Dental Care Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
Of course, a healthy heart requires regular exercise and a healthy diet, but keeping your smile healthy can also keep your heart healthy by preventing the spread of gum disease. Prevent gum disease and other oral health problems with these dental care tips:
- Brush twice a day: Brushing at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, helps reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Floss daily: Brushing alone is not enough to prevent gum disease. Flossing plays a huge role in gum health by reducing plaque and tartar build up along the gum line. Floss at least once a day to ensure gum health.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day as part of your oral hygiene routine to further reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Schedule regular check-ups and cleanings: See your dentist at least once every six months to keep your smile healthy and clean.
Seek Treatment with Dr. Buono
A healthy smile is one component of having a healthy heart. Get your oral health on track with treatment from Dr. Buono. Schedule a consultation today.