Given that February is American Heart Health Month, this is a great time to talk about a way to encourage better care for this most vital organ, but the route to achieving that, which will be revealed within these lines, is one that is not commonly taken. Instead of discussing how exercising and managing stress impact heart health, we will look at how your dental hygiene and consistent visits to your dentist in Burleson for preventive care will factor greatly into your cardiovascular wellness.
What Do Oral Care and Heart Health Have in Common?
The connection between your oral care and heart health hinges on blood. This vital, life-sustaining fluid passes throughout your body carrying markers that provide record of either how diligent you’ve been in maintaining healthy regimens or negligent.
Your mouth then, serves as a window into the health of the rest of your body, including your heart. Therefore, the manner in which you care for your oral cavity will be reflected in other places as well.
The Fight Against Gum Disease
Your main enemies when it comes to oral health are bacteria. They seek to feed on leftover food particles and sugars in your mouth, and as they find sources of nourishment they grow and grow.
If allowed to continue growing, they produce plaque and eventually lead to gum disease, a condition that starts with irritation, swelling and bleeding of the gums and morphs into bone destruction and tooth loss over time.
A more alarming effect of advanced gum disease is that it causes infection, and the same compromised blood that passes through that area flows down to the heart. And as a result of the infected blood, inflammation occurs in the form of arterial plaque. The plaque then blocks the flow of oxygen in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Oral Hygiene as a Remedy
A simple way to fight back is by practicing excellent oral hygiene, which includes:
- Brushing – Brushing your teeth agitates and removes leftover debris and bacteria, leaving clean ivories.
- Flossing – It is equally important to floss to get between the teeth to remove the remaining critters that seek to hide in warm, tight places. Both brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day.
- Eating Healthier – Choosing more naturally occurring foods to eat like fruits and vegetables helps to create a more alkaline state in your mouth, which makes for an unfit environment for bacteria to flourish in.
The Power of Preventive Care
A final way you have to fight against gum disease and protect your heart is to maintain regular visits with your dentist for cleanings and checkups. At these appointments you’ll receive a full report on what’s going in your mouth and be assured that any plaque and tartar that have accumulated on your teeth and gum line have been eliminated.
Thus, you can celebrate American Heart Health Month with a beautiful smile and the warm feeling of knowing that you’ve also done your cardiovascular system a great service. To learn more about how to impact your overall health through excellent oral care, just reach out to your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Jay Oza earned his dental degree from NYU and has been practicing in Texas since 2014. A member of the American Dental Association and other professional organizations, he practices at Marvel Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.