If you love your heart, you need to look after your mouth. Many people are unaware of the significant connection between the two or do not understand exactly how it works.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death, but when you look after your dental health in Oshawa, you also help to protect your heart. Having healthy teeth and gums may help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you already have heart problems, a healthy mouth can help prevent them from worsening.
Understanding the Connection Between Heart Health and Dental Health
The connection between the two is periodontal disease, specifically the bacteria that cause this condition. Periodontal or gum disease is a very common bacterial infection usually related to poor oral hygiene. It is caused when harmful bacteria found in dental plaque build up in the mouth.
Dental plaque is a sticky biofilm that begins forming over your teeth soon after brushing them. If you fail to brush and floss regularly, the number of bacteria increases and will thrive on leftover food that will also be coating your teeth. These bacteria produce toxins as a byproduct, and the toxins infect your gums. The infection promotes an inflammatory response by your body, resulting in your gums becoming increasingly red, swollen and tender, so they eventually begin to bleed when you brush and floss.
As your gums begin to bleed, they allow bacteria normally confined to your mouth to enter your bloodstream. The exact connection between periodontal disease and heart disease isn’t fully understood, but it is thought these bacteria will create new sites of inflammation in the body, potentially in the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease or worsening any existing heart conditions. This is why people will sometimes need to see a dentist before heart surgery to ensure they do not have signs of oral disease such as periodontal disease in Whitby.
Maintaining Healthy Gums
Although periodontal disease is a serious condition, it is preventable with the right dental care in Ajax, including professional preventative dentistry.
Seeing a Dentist Regularly
We strongly recommend that all our patients visit us at Margolian Dentistry regularly, usually twice yearly, for checkups and cleans. Your dental checkups are the best way to detect any signs of disease, including gum disease, early in the day when we can treat these conditions more easily. Gum disease is reversible when we can treat the early stages, called gingivitis, but without prompt oral care, it quickly develops into periodontitis, which is much more serious, requires lengthier and costlier treatment and can become chronic.
Regular dental cleanings are essential for removing all plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) buildup. Even people with an excellent oral care routine will miss certain areas, and removing all this buildup is an effective way to ensure that gums remain strong and healthy. If you have any signs of gum inflammation, a professional dental cleaning may be all that is needed to reverse the early signs of gum disease.
Maintaining Good Oral Care at Home
Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth will ensure harmful dental plaque is removed before it can damage your teeth and gums. It is essential to brush at least twice a day, ideally first thing in the morning and last thing at night, so you go to sleep with a nice clean mouth. If you think your oral care routine could use some improvement, please ask us for help and advice. We can review your brushing and flossing techniques with you and offer some useful suggestions if needed. Sometimes even making a few small adjustments can make all the difference to the effectiveness of a daily routine.