Heart Health Benefits of Physical Activity. It can lower your blood pressure, improve and manage your cholesterol levels in the blood, improve your body’s ability to manage insulin and blood sugar levels, and more. Though it may come as a surprise, the health of your smile can also impact your heart. Continue reading to learn about how having unhealthy gums can lead to cardiovascular issues.
What Is Gum Disease?
When you don’t brush twice and floss once daily, this can lead to a range of oral health issues, including gum disease. This is an infection of the gums that is often the result of poor oral hygiene but can also be caused by genetics, pregnancy, and other factors. There are a variety of symptoms of gum disease that you should look out for, such as:
- Gums bleeding easily when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath, even after brushing
- Bright red or purple gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Pain when chewing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Tooth pain
- Tooth loss
How Gum Disease Affects Your Heart
As previously mentioned, inflammation is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease. Acute inflammation refers to the initial response the body has to harmful stimuli and aids in the healing process. But, if it becomes chronic, this can lead to health concerns, including atherosclerosis.
This condition causes the arteries to narrow and harden due to a buildup of plaque (fats). This may result in a stroke or heart attack. Even if you don’t have gum disease by developing atherosclerosis, you may see an increased risk of a major cardiovascular event by as much as three times.
3 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can prevent gum disease and lower your risk of cardiovascular issues, including:
- Don’t use tobacco products – Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products can do a lot of harm to both your smile and your heart. In fact, it can at least double your chances of developing gum disease. Tobacco use also makes it harder for your body to heal correctly and raises your risk of several types of cancer.
- Eat a tooth-healthy diet – This should consist of fish, nuts, lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, and leafy greens. These foods contain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
- Stay hydrated – When you don’t make enough saliva, this leads to dry mouth, which raises your risk of gum disease. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help prevent dry mouth.
About the Practice
Warsaw patients are in good hands with the team at East Center Dental. Dr. Mike Rudolph leads this talented team of dental health professionals and offers a variety of treatments to help you keep your smile in good condition. This includes periodontal treatment to heal infected gums and lower your risk of other health conditions, such as heart disease. If you are interested in setting up an appointment with East Center Dental or want more information on their services, call their office at (574) 269-1787 or visit their website.