With all of the information we’re bombarded with each day, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Especially when it comes to your health, the guidelines seem to change so fast that it feels impossible to keep up! So, it’s understandable to feel skeptical or confused if you’ve heard that gum disease can affect your heart. How could these two separate parts of the body actually be connected?
Not to worry! In this blog, we’ll clear up any confusion you might have about this topic. You’ll learn what gum disease is and how it plays into your oral health. Then we’ll look at the research and tell you what to do if you have gum disease. Learn more today!
How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Oral Health?
Gum disease attacks the gum tissue and underlying bone that keeps your teeth in place. In advanced stages, it can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
While having a checkup is the only way to have gum disease diagnosed, here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding after brushing and flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
Now that you know how gum disease impacts your mouth, find how out how it affects the rest of your body!
Are Gum Disease and Heart Health Actually Linked?
In the last 20 years, researchers have done a huge number of studies on this topic and there is overwhelming evidence that the two are linked. But how?
Well, we know that bacteria under the gums have access to the bloodstream. From there they can easily travel throughout the entire body, including the heart. These bacteria cause two things to happen:
- They cause plaque to form in the arteries, which contributes to atherosclerosis.
- Inflammation in the mouth spreads to the entire body and increases the risk for several serious conditions, including heart disease.
What Can You Do For Healthier Gums?
It’s estimated that almost half of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease. With statistics like that, there’s a good chance you or someone you know may have it!
The good news is that with regular visits to the dentist and great hygiene habits, gum disease can be managed. There are many gum therapies that can keep your gums healthy and happy – and potentially reduce your risk for heart disease as well!
About the Author
With a thorough understanding of the importance of gum health, Dr. Neil Flenniken and Dr. Suzan Rismani-Flenniken make treatment for gum disease a priority. They know that working as a team with their patients is the best way to manage this condition, so they always take the time to educate patients about caring for their gums. If you have any questions, they can be contacted via their website or at (703) 714-7374.