Have a Heart: Brush Your Teeth
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, which is 1 in every 4 deaths, and someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. With this in mind, we wanted to point out the connection between oral health and heart health.
Researchers continue to find associations between gum disease and other chronic health conditions including heart disease. Persons with gum disease and heart disease share common risk factors such as smoking, older age, low-income status and obesity. A major question is how these factors and diseases relate to each other. In this case, if you treat the gum disease will you lower the likelihood of developing or worsening heart disease? Ongoing studies are attempting to answer that question.
Studies show that people with gum disease may be at a higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease. Researchers are now trying to determine if bacteria and inflammation in the gum tissues, as a result of periodontal disease, contribute to the clogging of arteries and lead to CAD.
So, for your heart's sake practice sound dental hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing and eating healthy. In particular, don't smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. Finally, make time for regular dental check-ups. Visiting your dentist is an important step in keeping good oral health. Like most diseases, gum disease is much easier to treat and control if discovered early.