Most people know that taking care of their teeth helps improve their overall physical health, but did you know that a link between dental health and cardiovascular health? Recent studies show that if you are one of more than 80 percent of Americans who are living with gum disease which is at a moderate or advanced stage, that you could be at an increased risk for heart disease. Your oral health can also tell your dentist and doctors a lot about your overall health and provide essential warning signs for a wide range of conditions and diseases, including those in the heart. The best dentist in North Raleigh is here to talk more about this.
Who’s at Risk? | Best Dentist in North Raleigh
People with chronic gum conditions like advanced periodontal disease or gingivitis are at the most significant risk of heart disease caused by poor oral health care. If these conditions remain undiagnosed or unmanaged, the bacteria that are associated with these infections can enter the bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, they can attach to blood vessels and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Accumulated plaque and poor oral hygiene also put you at risk for gum disease and can cause an elevated C-reactive protein which is a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. This inflammation, according to the Cleveland Clinic, can increase your likelihood of a stroke or heart attack.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Early stages of gum disease include:
- gums that are swollen, sore or red
- brushing or flossing that causes your gums to bleed
- bleeding gums when you eat
- gums that appear to be pulling away from your teeth
- bad taste in your mouth
- frequent bad breath
- signs of infection around your teeth like pus
How are These Things Related?
Heart disease and oral health are connected by the spread of bacteria from your mouth to other parts of your body via the bloodstream. Once these bacteria reach your heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause significant inflammation. The bacteria can then generate an infection of the inner lining of the heart known as endocarditis. Other cardiac conditions like clogged arteries and stroke have been linked to this bacteria as well.
Can This Be Prevented?
Good oral care routine and regular visits can help prevent the development of gum disease. Brushing your teeth twice a day with products recommended by the American Dental Association can help you clean your teeth regularly and prevent the formation of plaque and reduce gum irritation.
When you visit your dentist, be sure to bring a list of all your current medications and conditions so that your dentist has a full picture of your overall health. Helping your dentist and your primary care doctor share information can help you stay healthy and avoid major problems.
Concerned about your oral health? Schedule your cleaning and screening appointment with the best dentist in North Raleigh, today!