The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Health: What You Need to Know
Did you know that gum disease is a threat to your oral health and can also be linked to heart disease? Many studies have shown a strong connection between the two, and it's essential to understand how gum disease can affect your heart health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones that hold your teeth in place. It is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth that is not removed through regular brushing and flossing. The bacteria in the plaque can cause inflammation and damage to the gums, leading to redness, swelling, and bleeding.
If left untreated, gum disease can progress to a more severe form called periodontitis, which can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating infected pockets. The bacteria can then spread to the bone and other tissues that support your teeth, leading to tooth loss.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health
Research has shown that the same bacteria that cause gum disease can also contribute to the development of heart disease. When the bacteria enter the bloodstream through the infected gums, they can attach to fatty deposits in the arteries, leading to inflammation and blood clots.
This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke as the blood flow to the heart and brain is reduced. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease.
Other Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease
In addition to heart disease, gum disease has also been linked to other health problems, including:
- Respiratory disease
- Premature birth and low birth weight in pregnant women
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The good news is that gum disease is preventable with proper oral hygiene habits. Here are some tips to help prevent gum disease and protect your heart health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar and processed foods
- Don't smoke or use tobacco products
Treatment for Gum Disease
If you already have gum disease, it's essential to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your gums and teeth. Treatment options may include:
- Scaling and root planing: A deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line
- Antibiotics: Medications that can help eliminate the bacteria causing the infection
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue and repair the gums
Learn Everything About Gum Disease At Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry
If you are concerned about your gum health or have questions about how gum disease can affect your heart health, we are here to help. At Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry, our experienced dental professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal oral health. We offer various services, including preventive care, restorative treatments, and cosmetic dentistry. Please don't hesitate to call us at 602-978-9794 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steele or Dr. Howard and their dental team.
We understand that going to the dentist can be intimidating for some people, so we strive to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all our patients. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will take the time to listen to your concerns and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
At Arrowhead Foothills Dentistry, we believe that prevention is vital to maintaining good oral health. That's why we encourage our patients to practice good oral hygiene habits at home and visit us regularly for checkups and cleanings. By working together, we can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.
Don't let gum disease affect your overall health and well-being. Contact us today at 602-978-9794 or visit us here and let us help you maintain healthy gums and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. We look forward to hearing from you!