The Connection Between Your Oral Health and Your Heart Health

The Connection Between Your Oral Health and Your Heart Health

Why are dentists doling out advice about heart health?

Because your mouth is the gateway to your body — anything that makes it past your lips enters your system and affects your heart.

It’s February — American Heart Month — and our expert team at Lancaster Dental Care Associates wants to spread the word about the surprising connection between your oral and heart health. 

How your mouth affects your heart

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection caused by the build-up of plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — on your teeth due to poor oral hygiene. 

What does this have to do with your heart? Research suggests a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. Studies of people with atherosclerosis — plaque build-up in the arteries — show traces of oral bacteria in the tissue. 

Here’s how it happens.

Although inflammation is your body’s natural response to an infection, in the case of gum disease, prolonged inflammation can cause your gums to bleed and allow bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, these bacteria can travel to different parts of your body, including your heart, leading to inflammation and potential damage to your cardiovascular system.

How dental check-ups can save your teeth and your heart

You know that regular dental check-ups help you keep your oral health in check, and now you know they can also protect your heart. 

Our experienced dentists and hygienists are trained to detect early signs of gum disease that you might not notice. The sooner you treat gum disease, the easier it is to slow the progression and reverse the effects, including the risk of heart problems.

A typical dental check-up at Lancaster Dental Care Associates includes a thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar build-up, which are primary contributors to gum disease. 

We use the latest technology to maintain optimal oral health. When it comes to progressive gum disease, we tackle the problem with advanced laser dentistry techniques. This innovative treatment uses a precise light beam to remove trapped bacteria and diseased gum tissue with minimal pain and bleeding. 

Bonus: The laser stimulates your body’s natural healing process, making recovery quick and less painful.

How to brush up your oral hygiene game with your heart in mind

Now that you understand the link between oral health and heart health, you can take some practical steps to protect both.

Brush and floss daily

Brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily to remove plaque. Invest in a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush and change it every three months ,or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Beware of sugar 

Bacteria love sugar, so sweet foods and drinks are the perfect recipe for tooth decay and gum disease. Reducing your sugar intake can significantly improve your oral health and protect your heart.

Regular dental visits

Aim to visit Lancaster Dental Care Associates for check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year. More frequent visits may be necessary if you’re at a higher risk of gum disease or heart disease.

If it’s been over six months since your last check-ip and professional cleaning, book an appointment online, or call our friendly Lancaster Dental Care Associates team in Lancaster, California, today.

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