Does a healthy mouth equal to a healthy heart? Pause there for a moment, as we shall revisit this question with an answer later! Dentists and other medical experts have concluded that the state of your teeth often affects your overall health. While there are many health conditions causing a nightmare to our teeth, gum disease seems to be causing even more problems. This condition is not just bad news for our oral health; it is also associated with causing severe problems in other parts of the body.
What is gum disease? Gum disease is typically an infection of the tissues that offer vital support to the teeth. It is mainly caused by bacteria that emanates from the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. In some patients who are vulnerable to this disease, the body reacts excessively to the bacteria around the teeth and gums, thereby causing too much inflammation. One of the cons of gum disease is the increased risk of all types of other health problems, including diabetes, stroke, dementia, and heart disease. Over the years, there has been extensive research among doctors on how gum disease affects your heart, and a summary of their findings is listed below.
Effects of gum disease on heart health: Almost 1 in 5 men and 1 in 8 women die from heart-related diseases each day. This is a worrying number and research findings show that there is a link between gum disease and heart problems. Inflammation is the main theory justifying this fact. The oral bacteria can cause problems in the heart when they access the bloodstream. When the gum layer is disrupted a little bit, it triggers inflammation that spreads throughout the body. Fatty plaques attach to called coronary arteries in the process, thus contributing to frequent clot formation and damaging the blood vessels. As we all know, blood clots obstruct the normal flow of blood, restrict transportation of essential blood nutrients, and limit the amount of oxygen. This results in the common cases of heart attacks and stroke. Statistics from some of the most reliable sources show that gum disease increases the risk for heart attack and stroke by nearly 50%. It was noted that gum disease was more common and profound in heart attack patients at 43% than healthy patients at 33%. It, therefore, implies that there is a huge link between heart diseases and gum disease.
How to prevent gum disease: It is apparent now that a healthy mouth is equal to a healthy heart, and so the elephant in the room is how to prevent gum disease. The good news is that brushing and flossing your teeth properly and taking care of your gums goes a long way in preventing and treating gum disease. Follow a strict brushing routine, which is often two minutes of thorough brushing done twice a day with a proper toothpaste. Remember to clean between the teeth with inter-dental brushes or floss. Visit your dentist regularly! The reason for this is quite simple and straightforward. Any visit involves the dental examination, which goes a long way in preventing plaque and stopping gum disease. Your dentist removes plaque, which is a sticky deposit that clings on to your teeth and gums hosting harmful bacteria. Your dental hygienists can spot the very first signs of gum disease, long before it advances to a serious challenge and institute measures to tackle it.