There are many uncommonly known links between oral health and heart health. Taking care of your smile is essential not only for the health of your teeth but the health of your body as well. The most common way poor oral health can lead to poor heart health is through gum disease. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of heart disease on your smile.
According to the American Dental Association, more than 80% of Americans are living with gum disease. Since gum disease can often exist without being aware of it, it can lead to very serious health problems that can affect your heart. When gum disease goes untreated, bacteria spreads into your bloodstream which eventually damages your heart and leads to things like endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart lining. It’s important to see your dentist right away if you suspect you may have gum disease. Some symptoms to look for are:
- Red swollen gums
- Pain or soreness of the gums when brushing
- Bleeding while brushing
- Pus coming from your gums
- Frequent bad breath
- Loose teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible.
People at Risk
If you have chronic gum issues or advanced gum disease, you could be at a higher risk for heart disease. If you neglect your oral health, you also could be at risk for heart disease. This is why you should see your dentist regularly for biannual visits. Your dentist will be able to spot symptoms of gum disease that you may have missed.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Regular brushing and flossing will help prevent gum disease, but seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to maintain your oral health.
If you are concerned about the effects of heart disease on your smile, be sure to see Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller of Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts for an appointment.