We usually hear heart health being linked to oral health. But does this mean that heart disease can be prevented by taking good care of your mouth?
According to Heart Research Institute Canada, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, claiming one life in every 7 minutes.
It’s yet to be proven that preventing gum disease also reduces the risk of heart diseases. However, their risk factors are similar. Add to that, there are several studies that suggest connection between gum disease and heart disease.
Research suggests that gum disease also increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease. According to Mayo Clinic, the mouth is full of bacteria and the majority of which is harmless. However, poor oral hygiene can encourage bacteria overgrowth. This can then lead to mouth infections such as gum disease.
Once bacteria reach the heart, they can cause inflammation. Bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and release toxins. On the other hand, diseases such as diabetes, which are also linked to oral disease, can also result in lowered body resistance against infection.
Taking certain medications can also impact saliva flow. And reduced saliva flow can also lower your mouth’s defenses against acids or microbial invasion. So during your dental checkups, be sure to advise us if you are taking any medications.
Gum Disease Signs and Symptoms
A combination of the signs and symptoms listed below may indicate gum disease at its early stages. Let our team know right away should you notice any of the following.
- Red, swollen, and sore gums
- Bleeding or sensitive gums
- Pus around the teeth or gums
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
Protecting Your Oral Health
Ensure good oral hygiene habits to keep your oral health protected.
- Always clean your mouth. Brush and floss daily to keep debris from lingering in your mouth. Spend at least 2 minutes when brushing and cover all areas of the mouth. If your brush is already frayed, grab a new one. Switch to a soft bristled toothbrush too in case you still haven’t.
- Watch what you eat. You don’t have to let go of sweets entirely. But try to trade your usual go-to desserts or snacks for something more tooth-friendly. Limit intake of acidic food and beverages and increase water consumption.
- Avoid smoking. Any form of tobacco is not good for your oral health. It can cause oral cancer and gum diseases. If you have been smoking, seek help from your loved ones or professionals so you can, step by step, take it out of your system.
- See your dentist regularly. Skipping or delaying can only cause dental issues to worsen. There’s help available for you if you feel anxious about getting your mouth checked. Should you see any oral health problem, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dental team.
Although scientists are yet to fully understand the connection between oral health and heart health, good oral health is always necessary. Investing in a healthy mouth is investing in good overall health. So take good care of your mouth and always check it for signs of potential issues.