By: Dr. Kristie Engler
Regular dental care is more than just a bright, white smile! Good oral health also plays a big part in your overall health and well-being. There is increasing evidence that a link exists between gum health and heart disease. While some people argue that people with good oral habits may also exercise more frequently and take better overall care of themselves, there are some relationships between the two that cannot be ignored.
Reports published in the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Periodontology point out that direct links have been suggested between gum disease and clogged arteries in the legs. Gum disease is also a direct risk factor for heart disease, and the bacteria found in the blood vessels of patients with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, are the same as those found in gum disease. Furthermore, inflammation is also common to both diseases.
Risk factors for gum disease are the same as those for heart disease. These include tobacco use, poor nutrition and diabetes, the latter which also has shown to be improved in many cases with good oral health. The warning signs of gum disease are as follows:
– Red, swollen, tender gums
– Bleeding gums
– Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that does not improve
– Shifting or loose teeth
For the reasons listed above, it is imperative to emphasize good oral habits for your children from a young age, with regular dental visits beginning with the first tooth eruption at approximately age 6 months, and in some cases earlier, as these positive habits are more likely to follow a person throughout their lives. If you have neglected your dental health, it is not too late to start making positive, life-altering changes!
Unlike some stories from the past, dentistry today is often completely simple and painless. The results for your health, confidence and overall well being is immeasurable. You owe it to yourself and your family to maintain good oral habits and help to reduce your risk of potentially life threatening diseases such as heart disease or progressing diabetes. You are worth it!
If you do not have a dental provider and would like to maintain or start on a path toward better overall health and a great smile, call to make an appointment at AxessPointe today. Our dental and medical providers are here to provide compassionate, understanding, quality care for you and your family. All ages are welcome. We look forward to going through this journey together with you!