February is American Heart Month. So what does that have to do with your mouth? Studies have shown that there is a link between oral health and heart disease. People with moderate or advanced gum disease are at greater risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums.
Gum disease is no stranger in the United States. 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease. That’s HUGE!! The good thing about it is that not only is gum disease preventable, but it’s also treatable if caught early.
It’s very important to go to the dentist BEFORE something starts to hurt. That means having regular check-ups and cleanings every 3, 4 or 6 months based on the the recommendations of your dentist and hygienist. Unfortunately many people don’t go to the dentist because they “feel OK” and “nothing is bothering me.”
I applaud each of you who get annual check-ups, but how many times has your doctor done a full check up of your mouths? When was the last time your PCP told you to do to the dentist?
Bacteria from your mouth can spread to other parts of your body through the blood stream. If you have tartar or plaque on your teeth and buildup on your tongue, each time you chew and swallow, where do you think that stuff is going?
If it reaches your heart, it can cause inflammation and infection on any part that is already damaged. You are at high risk for having blood clots, a stroke or heart attack if you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, especially if you don’t treat it.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are relatively “painless”. However, there are some signs that you should look for:
red, swollen and sore gums
gums that bleed when you eat, brush or floss
pus around your gums and teeth
teeth feel like they are spreading
gums that look like they are "pulling away" from the teeth
teeth look longer than before
bad breath or your notice a bad taste in your mouth
changes in your bite as if your teeth don’t fit together
partials or dentures fit differently
It’s important that you do what you can to take care of your teeth at home. Brush twice a day with a soft bristled brush and floss every day!
800,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. Let us help you by getting rid of any infection in your mouth. Call us to set up an appointment at 404-761-1659 today.