Heart disease is an alarming epidemic in the United States. It is responsible for 610,00 deaths per year. While you know that there are several factors that can increase your risk for it, like obesity, a poor diet, or smoking, there is another cause—gum disease. It is estimated that half of adults have a form of the infection. To protect your gum and heart health, it is best to maintain your oral hygiene habits at home and see your dentist in Reston regularly for a cleaning and checkup.
Heart Disease and Your Gum Health
Gum disease is a preventable infection due to bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations. When left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, but this is not the only concern. New research has discovered a direct link between the bacteria responsible for the infection and the development of cardiovascular disease.
In 2008, a study was performed by a team at the University of Bristol in the UK, which also involved the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. They found that people who have bleeding gums from poor oral health have a heightened risk for heart disease.
The bacteria that is responsible for the infection can enter the bloodstream and stick to palates. This can cause clots to form, which can hinder proper blood flow to the heart. This can trigger a heart attack. They found that the clotting is due to a defense mechanism of the palates to try to stop the bacteria from attacking healthy cells.
In addition to an increased risk for heart attack, it was also found that your risk for stroke and heart arrhythmias also increased. As your body responds to the infection with inflammation, it can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular issues.
Protect Your Heart Health
To help reduce your risk for heart disease, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each session. To remove any bacteria and plaque that has been left behind with brushing, it is best to floss in between every tooth before going to bed.
Although your oral hygiene habits at home are important, they are only half of the care you need. It is best to see a Reston dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will remove any harmful accumulations that can lead to gum disease while also detecting the early stages of the infection for prompt treatment.
Get a Healthy Smile Today!
If you have not had a dental cleaning recently, do not wait any longer. Contact your dentist for a preventive appointment to keep your mouth and heart healthy.