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Your Smile Can Help Keep a Healthy Heart—Here’s How

February 17, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — houstondentist @ 9:09 pm
smiling man thumbs up with health heart in Houston

If you’re trying a healthier diet or putting in hours at the gym, then you’re on a great track for Heart Health Month! Not only is the day of love right around the corner, but it’s a good time to discover ways to improve your overall well-being. One crucial tidbit is how keeping your heart healthy starts with your smile. How is that the case? Read on to learn the importance of preventing gum disease in Houston for cardiovascular wellness.

What’s The Relation Between Gum Disease & Heart Health?

Maintaining gum health is all about preventing periodontal disease—a bacterial infection in the gums that causes gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, puffy gums. If this disease is left untreated, it can worsen into periodontitis. At this point, the bacteria become powerful enough to damage the connective tissues holding your teeth in place.

These dangerous microbes can then escape into your bloodstream, travelling to the other parts of your body, including the heart. Should the bacteria and the inflammation they cause reach and cover the inner linings or valves of your heart, you’ll be at an increased risk of severe issues like heart attacks or strokes.

How Do I Prevent Plaque Buildup?

Continuing studies have revealed that people with periodontal disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular occurrence. Since gum disease is typically caused by plaque buildup, it’s important to practice the following measures:

  1. Brush Twice Daily: While you brush your teeth twice a day, you should also pay extra attention to your gum line, as this is where plaque and tartar accumulate.
  2. Floss At Least Once a Day: Brushing is important for the more obvious surfaces of your teeth, but it won’t clean everything. Flossing daily can reach in between your teeth like no other.
  3. Avoid Tobacco Products: In addition to causing dental health issues, tobacco use can also increase your risk of oral cancer.
  4. Know Your Risks: Diet, age, and even genetics all play a part in your risk for gum disease. Being aware of your specific circumstances can boost your chances for maintaining good gum health.
  5. Regular Dentist Visits: On top of your dental checkup and cleaning, your dentist can assess your oral health and identify any potential problems. Regular visits twice a year can put you in front of any developments, stopping them before they happen.

While the relation between gum disease and heart health is still being researched, it’s still a good idea to take simple preventive measures to maintain good dental health. But if you ever want to have clarity on your situation, your dentist will be more than happy to take a look!

About the Author

Dr. Donald F. Tamborello has provided passionate and quality dental care for over 30 years. He graduated with his dental degree from the University of Texas, where he also received the highest honor of Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. Along with his expert team of dentists, he offers a vast set of dental treatments, including preventive services and gum disease therapy to fight periodontal disease. If you want to know more about the importance of gum health for keeping a healthy heart, visit his website or call (713) 522-7540.

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