Healthy gums for a healthy heart

We all know that to look after our heart we need to exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet, but have you considered that keeping your smile healthy could also benefit your heart?

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a condition whereby an individual has a build-up of bacteria around theirteeth and gums which can lead to the structures supporting their teeth to become inflamed and swollen.

There have been many studies that have looked into the relationship between periodontitis and heart disease. The connection between these conditions is still not fully understood, however the school of thought is that when individuals have periodontitis, this bacteria within your mouth can get into your bloodstream. Once the bacteria is within the bloodstream, it can begin to clot blood cells together. These clots within your blood stream may begin to restrict an individual’s blood flow, affecting the volume of blood and oxygen to your heart. Additionally, if a blood clot were to flow into the heart, this could cause further issues and even lead to a heart attack.

Who is most at risk?

Individuals are at an increased risk for periodontitis and heart disease if they smoke, have diabetes, or are overweight. Additionally, as you get older you become more at risk.

What are the symptoms?

It is important to regularly check your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy. You may not always experience symptoms when you have periodontitis, however you may notice the following:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitive teeth or pain
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth

These symptoms can also relate to other conditions, so if you experience any of the above you should visit your dentist for a check-up.

How can I prevent this?

There are many steps you can take to help create healthier gums and reduce the likelihood of periodontitis. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is a must, preferably with an electric toothbrush. Make sure that when you are brushing your teeth, you focus on each tooth, covering the whole surface of the tooth. Pay attention to your gum line and make sure you aim your toothbrush to reach the join between your gum and your tooth. Cleaning with floss and interdental brushes can help to keep your teeth and gums extra healthy. Make sure to see your dentist on a regular basis to have check-ups and gain additional advice to suit your teeth and gums.

To book a check-up appointment with one of our friendly dentists at Marquess Dental, call us today onĀ 01248 787878.

Posted by Josie on 11th April 2018, under Gum Disease

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