How are you feeling these days? Are you exercising regularly, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep? The research just keeps flooding in about how a healthy lifestyle can add years to your life, keep you out of the hospital, help you feel more energetic, and even relieve depression and anxiety. Did you know that another important part of your overall health is your oral health?
It’s easy to think that tooth troubles stay in your mouth. The truth is, though, that oral disease can lead to sickness in other parts of the body, too. The latest studies have been showing a strong link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. That means someone who doesn’t take care of their gums is at a higher risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and chest pain.
WHY is gum disease linked to heart disease? We’re not sure, but research suggests that the bacteria in your mouth can get into your blood stream when you have gum disease and cause your body to respond defensively, increasing inflammation. The bacteria can travel from the mouth to the heart or to other vital organs in the body, causing inflammation where they land.
Don’t worry, though. Gum disease is easy to prevent. Here are a few tips:
1. Brush your teeth every day, twice a day, with a soft toothbrush. Try to brush for at least two minutes. Not sure how long you brush? Set a timer—you might find you brush for less time than you think.
2. Floss every day. It’s okay to only do this once a day. Use an interdental cleaner like floss, a water flosser, or an inter-dental toothbrush.
3. Don’t forget to pick toothpaste with fluoride in it. Many kinds of toothpaste are specifically formulated with anti-inflammatory properties, and these are great for fighting gum disease.
4. Visit your Crown Council dentist every six months for a regular cleaning and checkup. This is crucial to get a thorough cleaning that you can’t do at home, to review oral hygiene and tips, to discuss worries or potential issues that have arisen, and to get your dentist’s mark of approval. It’s the only sure-fire way to know that you are free of gum disease and have a healthy mouth.
If you think you might have gum disease, it’s important to make an appointment with your Crown Council dentist right away to get treatment and avoid serious oral and systemic health complications. Common symptoms of gum disease include the following:
• Chronic bad breath
• Gum tenderness
• Bleeding gums
• Gums that seem to pull away from teeth
• Teeth feeling loose
To learn more about oral health and what you can do to fight gum disease, visit the Crown Council website at https://crowncouncil.com/why-visit-a-family-or-general-dentist-regularly/periodontal-disease.
Information was accessed on the following website on 06/02/2015: http://www.colgateprofessional.com/Professional/v1/en/us/locale-assets/docs/OSH-CardiovascularHealth-Healthy-Mouth-Healthy-Body.pdf