Today, I am going to discuss how your oral health can affect your heart health.
Studies have found people with gum disease in moderate to advanced stages are at a greater risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums. The spread of bacteria is what links oral health and heart disease. The bacteria in your mouth travels from your mouth to other parts of your body through the blood stream. When the bacteria from your mouth travels through the blood stream it attaches to areas of the heart causing inflammation. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart, this can occur from the bacteria in your mouth traveling to the heart.
People with chronic gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease) have a high risk for heart disease caused from poor oral health. Especially if the oral health condition is unmanaged.
What to look for in your mouth to help determine if you have gum disease:
- Red, swollen gums.
- Your gums bleed when you brush, floss or eat.
- You see pus around the gums and teeth.
- Your gums look like they are pulling away from your teeth.
- You experience a bad taste or odour in your mouth.
- Your experiencing loose teeth or feel like spaces are opening between your teeth.
How to prevent gum disease that is related to heart health:
- Brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes each time.
- Floss daily!
- Drink plenty or water. (6 to 8 glasses a day)
- Visit your dental hygienist regularly for a professional cleaning (every 3 to 6 months)