April 4, 2019
Gum disease is a common problem in the US and around the world. This infection and inflammation of your gums can lead to serious oral health issues that are as severe as tooth loss and bone deterioration. However, recent studies now show that gum disease can impact the health of your heart. Keep reading to learn about the influence that the health of your gums can have on your cardiovascular wellbeing from an expert dentist.
Gum Disease and Its Symptoms
Gum disease is typically caused by poor oral health that results in plaque and tartar buildup. When this buildup occurs, it affects your gums. The beginning stage of this disease is called gingivitis, which can be reversed through good oral healthcare and routine cleanings with your dentist. However, if your gum disease persists into more advanced stages, it can cause damage to your gums, supportive tissue, bone, and even tooth loss. That’s why it’s important to recognize the common warning signs while it’s still early:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red or puffy gums
- Sensitive or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Change in bite
- Teeth that appear longer
How Can Gum Disease Affect My Heart?
Unfortunately, the damage that gum disease can cause doesn’t stop with your mouth. Recent studies have shown that gum disease can increase cardiovascular disease by 20%. Additionally, gum disease can raise your chances of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Additional studies have shown that those with gum disease have heart-related treatment costs that are at least 14% higher than those without it.
Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Thankfully, gum disease is completely preventable. Your defense against this infection and an increased risk of more serious issues starts with your at-home care. Be sure that you’re brushing and flossing every day to clean away bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease. You can also use an antibacterial, nonalcoholic mouth wash as a finishing touch in your oral healthcare routine.
In addition to regular at-home care, you should visit your dentist in Marrero for biannual checkups and cleanings. If plaque hardens into tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional. Lastly, avoid poor lifestyle choices like tobacco use, smoking, or heavy alcohol consumption. These are risk factors that dramatically increase your chance of gum disease.
Who knew that your gums could affect your overall wellbeing? Now that you know more about the link between your mouth and your heart, take care of your gums to stay healthy!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. C.J. Landry has over 30 years of dental experience, which makes him an expert at preventing and detecting gum disease. He currently practices at Lapalco Family Dental, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (504) 348-0080 for any questions.
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