February – National Heart Month

We know that February is National Heart Month, but what you may ask, does that have to do with your teeth?  Heart disease claims over 610,000 lives each year, and is the  No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. But did you know that a link has been found between this deadly disease and the health of your gums?

According to a 2016 study by the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, having gum disease can increase the risk of a first heart by 28%.

“Although the findings indicate a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, it’s still unclear whether one actually causes the other,” says the American Heart Association. The two conditions have some of the same risk factors, including smoking, poor nutrition and diabetes. Researchers believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the connection.

Practicing health habits can help lower your risks of both gum and heart disease.

Daily good habits such as:

  • Brushing and flossing daily to remove plaque.
  • Following healthy dietary habits by reducing sugars and starches.
  • Avoiding chewing tobacco and cigarette smoking that can destroy your gums and cause heart disease.

By just implementing a few good habits you can help your gums and teeth and also, by design, your heart.  Give us a call here at Brogdon Dental and let us give your gums an exam and see how you rate.

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Healthy Gums – Healthy Heart

Did you know that brushing and flossing your teeth can help you avoid heart disease? Having clean teeth and healthy gums could reduce your chances of atherosclerosis.

So how does bacteria in your mouth affect your heart? The bacteria could possible enter the bloodstream through your gums, traveling to the rest of the body.  This bacteria could create inflammation, resulting in the clogging of arteries.

According to WebMD,

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Gums become inflamed, swollen, and bleed. Bacteria within plaque (which forms on teeth) lead to chronic inflammation of the gum line and tooth loss. Chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Every day, an estimated 2,600 people in the U.S. die of heart disease, says the American Heart Association. That’s an average of one death every 34 seconds. Every 45 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke – or about 700,000 people this year.

Heart attack and stroke can strike anyone. Each year, heart disease kills 150,000 people younger than 65, says the AHA.

There are lots of ways to prevent heart disease. Diet, exercise, handling stress better, and keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control are all good. Brushing and flossing are not a substitute for these measures, but they are two of the simplest things you can do to help your heart.  If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in the last 6 months you need to call us at Brogdon Dental to set up an appointment.

How are Your Gums?

Do you suffer from sore, swollen or bleeding gums? This could be a sign of a more serious condition.

According to caring.com, swollen, sore, or bleeding gums are symptoms not only of periodontal disease — in which exposure to bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth — but also a possible early sign of underlying cardiovascular disease. A 2010 study by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimated that the prevalence of periodontal disease may be underestimated by as much as 50 percent.

Can your heart be a cause of periodontal disease?

Experts believe that poor circulation due to heart disease could be an underlying cause of periodontal disease. Researchers are also studying whether a common bacteria is involved in both gum disease and plaque buildup inside coronary arteries. The link may also have something to do with the body’s response to prolonged inflammation.

A recent article in huffingtonpost.com states, “A study presented in 2011 at a meeting of the American Heart Association, for instance, showed that getting your teeth professionally cleaned even just once in your life is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. (though the association is strongest among people who get yearly cleanings).”

If you are having problems with your gums or you are concerned about the relationship between heart disease and gum disease give Dr. Brogdon a call.  We can treat your gum disease and thus help prevent the presence of bacteria. You should consider gum disease a red flag for inflammation and circulatory problems. Ask your doctor if you need to set up an appointment with us. Your gums and your heart will thank you!