February is Heart Month, so it’s time to focus on heart health. This month is an excellent opportunity to take steps towards living a healthier lifestyle and reducing your risk of heart disease. Taking care of your heart doesn’t have to be complicated—simple lifestyle changes like eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and visiting your doctor and dentist regularly can help keep your heart in good shape. Making minor adjustments throughout the year ensures you do all you can for your heart health. If you’re in The Lone Star State and looking for a dentist, call 281.501.7849 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team about our services for general dentistry in The Woodlands, Texas.
Link Between Heart Health and Oral Health
The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease.
One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart’s blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.
Coronary artery disease is a huge concern regarding heart health in February and throughout the year. It can lead to the following complications:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coronary heart disease
A healthy lifestyle that considers factors like diet, exercise, and stress levels is essential in reducing your risk of developing this life-threatening condition. Your dentist can help you understand the link between your oral and heart health. During February Heart Month, remember how maintaining good oral hygiene is a great way to support cardiovascular health.
What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
When coronary artery disease causes the buildup of fatty proteins and blood clots, blood flow is cut off, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack.
Periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood of someone who has coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease must take antibiotics before dental procedures. This is especially true of patients at most significant risk for contracting infective endocarditis or the inflammation of the inner layer of the heart. More than 2,400 people die from heart disease daily, making it a significant public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. It affects roughly 75% of Americans and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who struggle with periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell or bleed when they brush their teeth.
Improve Your Overall Health in Texas at Wambaugh Dental
Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and do professional cleaning twice yearly, plaque buildup on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “You are what you eat.” If you have any questions about your periodontal disease and your overall health, contact Wambaugh Dental today at 281.501.7849.