November 13, 2018
Here in Beverly Hills, there’s a lot of emphasis on health and wellness. Unfortunately, many adults fail to take care of one of the most important aspects of general wellbeing: their teeth and gums. It may surprise you to learn that oral and overall health are inextricably linked, especially when it comes to gum disease. This chronic condition can take a toll on an otherwise healthy body, starting with the heart. Keep reading to learn more about why sometimes, caring for your health starts means starting with your mouth.
Gums: The Gateway to Your Body
Patients who have gum disease are at an increased risk of a number of health problems, including diabetes, certain types of cancer, memory loss, and perhaps most significantly, heart trouble. While all are significant, it’s the last one — and heart disease in particular — that we’ll focus on in this article.
An Increased Risk of Heart Disease
We don’t know the direct link between gum disease and heart disease, but numerous studies performed over the last decades have suggested that one exists. In fact, having gum disease may make a person as many as 3 times likely to develop cardiovascular disease or experience another major heart health event.
There are a few theories for why the link between heart problems and gum disease exists. One is that the gums are a direct entry into the bloodstream, and when the bacteria that cause gum disease builds up here, it can quickly be distributed throughout the body. A second theory is found in the fact that inflammation in one area of the body can lead to an increased risk of developing it elsewhere. Therefore, the inflammation that occurs alongside gum disease may have a significant impact on a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease. The third factor is that it is not gum disease which increases the risk of heart disease, but smoking.
No matter the cause of this increased risk, the important thing is being aware of it and caring for your gums to protect your cardiovascular health.
How to Protect Your Gums (and Heart)
Fortunately, keeping your gums healthy is simple with a little effort on your end. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day. Brush in gentle circular motions using a fluoride toothpaste to fight bacteria buildup. Floss between teeth at least once daily, eat a low-sugar diet, and visit your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning. If you do develop gum disease, make sure to seek periodontal therapy promptly and follow through with all of your dentist’s instructions! Doing so will keep your gums healthy and help you to avoid the long-term negative effects of gum disease.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Julie Valentine is a general dentist as concerned with her patients’ general health as she is their beautiful smiles. She provides expert periodontal therapy from the comfort of a state-of-the-art office. If you know or suspect you have gum disease, do not hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Valentine by calling her at (310) 551-2955.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.