Are your gums in good shape? Do you notice redness, puffiness, or any bleeding? If so, this could be the early sign of gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease. As a result, your mouth isn’t the only area that can be negatively affected. In fact, if left untreated, what can be easily reversed can lead to bone and tooth loss as well as serious health-related conditions. Since February is American Heart Month in Frisco, let your dentist explain why it’s important to have regular dental checkups to ensure your oral and overall health remain in check.
How is Oral Health Connected to Heart Disease?
If you were to ask what age group is most closely associated with heart disease, you might think it is older, more mature adults well into their 60s and 70s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals between 35 and 64 are becoming more at risk due to rising rates in obesity and high blood pressure. Add on smoking and high cholesterol, and more than half of all Americans possess one of the few risk factors for heart disease.
But if you’re wondering where the connection to the mouth is, just wait. Everything you consume must enter and pass through the mouth before reaching the stomach. Should harmful bacteria develop within the mouth, it can easily enter into the bloodstream if not addressed in a timely manner. This is most common when concerning patients with gum disease.
As it attacks the soft tissues of your mouth, it will start with minimal symptoms (i.e. inflammation, bleeding, redness); however, these can quickly advance into a more aggressive form known as periodontitis. At this stage, gum pockets form, and bacteria and food particles can become more easily trapped. If left untreated, the infection developing within the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel to various areas of the body, one of which is the heart.
While each person is different, serious problems with your overall health can develop, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and even neurological disorders.
What Can Be Done to Prevent This from Happening?
First, it’s important you know that your dentist is your friend in this fight. In order to prevent gum disease in Frisco from developing, you will need to keep your six-month dental appointments. This will allow them to not only remove plaque and tartar from your gum line, but it will also give them the opportunity to check for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, cavities, or oral cancer and quickly begin treatment early on. Should there be any concern that your gum health could be in jeopardy, your dentist will likely recommend periodontal therapy to address the issue and keep infection and inflammation from reaching the rest of your body.
If you’re worried that your gums may not be in the best shape and want to prevent symptoms from worsening, talk to your dentist about treatment methods today. They will also be able to provide additional tips to use at home for better oral and overall health.
About the Author
Dr. Jill Wade has provided outstanding cosmetic, restorative, and preventive care. Earning her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor University in 1995, she went on to serve as a resident and fellow of the Advanced Education of General Dentistry program. After attaining her Master of Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD) designation, she became a founding member of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health. Dr. Wade is also an advocate for dental wellness and the whole-health connection. She and the team at Stonebriar Smile Design want to ensure your mouth and body are in optimal health, which is why they are proud to offer periodontal therapy to stop harmful bacteria from negatively effecting your smile as well as your heart, mind, and overall well-being. To learn more, contact us at (972) 377-7800.