Keeping Your Heart Functioning Involves Healthy Gums

February 10, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — marketheights @ 2:31 pm
woman talking to dentist in Harker Heights

February is American Heart Health Month, which is a period set aside to raise awareness about ways to improve cardiovascular health. This is also a great time to learn about the connection between gum health and the function of the heart. As you continue reading, a dentist in Harker Heights explains why it’s so important to properly care for your gums and lists the preventive measures you can take.

The Connection Between Your Gums and Heart

Inside your mouth live the possible nemeses to your dental and overall health: bacteria. Always present, they feed on any leftovers from the food and beverages you consume. If allowed to linger, hundreds of different types of bacteria combine to form plaque, which is a sticky and caustic substance.

Over time, plaque travel beneath the gum line to inflame the soft tissue (referred to as gingivitis). The first stage of gum disease (infection), this is an important phase to take action, as there is still an opportunity to prevent permanent damage to the connective tissue beneath the gum line that could lead to tooth loss. It should be noted that plaque travels, and if ignored, it can eventually migrate to the heart to contribute to clogged arteries – a potential recipe for cardiac arrest and heart disease.

How to Protect Your Heart

Instead of allowing oral bacteria to have their way, you can take your dental and overall health into your own hands. Here are some easy tips to follow:

Effectively Brush Your Teeth

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth for two minutes each session to achieve thorough cleaning. This will allow you to remove most of the leftover food particles that have accumulated. For the best results, you can brush after every meal.

Floss Regularly

In addition to brushing your teeth, it’s vital to floss with the same frequency. Toothbrushing can only clean around 60% of your teeth, which leaves a significant portion unaddressed. The malleable design of floss allows you to get into the tight spaces between your teeth where plaque and leftover particles like to hide.

Avoid Tobacco Usage

Using tobacco products of any kind can have direct effects on your dental and overall wellness. Whether chewed or smoked, they release toxins into the mouth that can set off a chain reaction of health threatening events.

Understand Your Risk Factors

Based on your age, diet and genetics, you may be more vulnerable to developing gum disease. Thus, it’s important to let your dentist know about any family history of gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, heart conditions or other issues. Therefore, he or she can structure an appropriate plan of action.

Maintain Regular Dental Visits

One of the best ways to commemorate Heart Health Month is to commit to visiting a dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. Not only will it help to protect your teeth and gums, but it will also boost your heart health.

February is only the second month of the year, which means you still have time to take a bold stance toward improved total wellness. It starts with reaching out to a local dentist to schedule a visit today!

About the Author

Dr. Meredith Mosier is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. An avid learner, she takes several hours of continuing education annually to further expand her knowledge. Dr. Mosier understands how vital preventive dentistry is to maintain healthy gums and a well-functioning heart. She provides attentive and competent care at Market Heights Family Dental, and she can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through her website.

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