Dental Check-Ups Are Good for Your Heart, Too!

Did you know that if you have gum disease, you are more likely to have heart disease? This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to have regular check-ups with your dentist and get your teeth cleaned regularly.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition of the tissues around the tooth, which is caused by bacteria. Also known as periodontitis, it can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth.

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Early signs of gum disease include swollen, red or tender gums, as well as gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing.

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, typically involves narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack. C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood is a marker for inflammation in the body, and high levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

What’s the Connection Between Mouth and Heart?

Researchers are still trying to find the definitive link between gum disease and heart disease, but one theory is that gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. In addition, research has shown that treating gum disease can lower the levels of C-reactive protein.

The Bottom Line…

Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat foods that are good for teeth and avoid those that are bad, and don’t skip your regular dental checkups. If you wait until there are signs of severe gum disease before you schedule an appointment with Enlighten Dental Care, the disease is already systemic and is contributing to inflammation in the body.

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