Periodontal disease is a gum infection that’s often caused by inadequate brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can usually be treated with a good oral hygiene routine and frequent in-office cleanings. But, if the infection progresses into a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, this may result in gum recession, jawbone corrosion, loose teeth, tooth loss, and overall health issues. So that you understand how having a healthy mouth affects the rest of your body, read on to learn about the effects of periodontal disease on the cardiovascular system.
How Gum Disease Affects Your Heart
There are several common signs of gum disease, including redness, bleeding when brushing or flossing, consistent bad breath, and inflammation. Though acute inflammation can help your body heal injuries, swelling that becomes chronic can lead to a range of health conditions, including atherosclerosis. This condition causes your veins to become thick and hard, which may cause you to have a stroke or a heart attack. Even if you don’t develop this condition, gum disease alone raises your chances of experiencing a major cardiovascular event by up to three times.
5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
As previously mentioned, brushing and flossing are usually enough to prevent gum disease. Brush once in the morning and once at night for two minutes. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your smile and a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid enamel damage. Floss at least once each day, preferably after your last meal, to remove food particles and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. A few other ways to lower your risk of developing periodontal disease include:
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products – Smoking raises one’s chances of developing gum disease by at least two times versus non-smokers. It also makes it more difficult for your body to heal properly. Quitting this bad habit is critical to protecting your oral and overall health, so ask your dentist, doctor, or therapist for resources or guidance.
- Eat a tooth-healthy diet – This consists of fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats like chicken and turkey, low-fat or fat-free dairy like plain yogurt and cheese, and fish like salmon. Eating these foods will give your smile with the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy.
- Stay hydrated – Dry mouth makes you more likely to develop gum disease, cavities, mouth sores, and other oral health issues. Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth well hydrated.
Along with these tips, make sure to visit your dentist at least twice per year for a checkup and cleaning. During these visits, they will remove buildups of plaque and tartar from your smile to lessen your risk of oral health issues. They will also keep an eye out for any oral health issues so they can administer prompt treatment to keep your heart healthy and your smile bright!
About the Practice
Whether you are struggling to keep your mouth healthy or are just due for your biannual visit, Columbia Healthy Smiles is here to help. They offer a wide range of high-quality oral health services, such as periodontal therapy, to treat any existing oral health issues and keep new ones from developing. By doing this, your grin can stay gorgeous for years to come! To make an appointment with Columbia Healthy Smiles or to learn more about periodontal therapy, visit their website or call (573) 875-7071.