Share The Love With Your Gums and Heart
February is American Heart Month. Give your heart and your gums some extra love for a healthier you and smile.
Research shows that there is an association between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health. For example, bacteria from a gum infection can enter the blood stream from your mouth, thereby increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums when eating, brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from teeth
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Pus or infection around the gums and teeth
The American Dental Association suggests the following to avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to clean between teeth
- Eat a balanced diet; limit between-meal snacks and sugary drinks
- Visit your dentist every six months for an oral checkup and dental cleaning
- Let your dentist know of any medications you take for cardiovascular conditions
If you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment for a checkup and to discuss treatment options. Stay proactive and help protect your mouth and heart with good oral hygiene.