Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths every year. To raise awareness about heart disease, the CDC has named February Heart Health Month.
So what does this have to do with oral health? There have been a number of recent studies that suggest a link between your oral health and the health of your heart.
Healthy gums, healthy heart?
The link between your heart and your oral health has been talked about for a while, and the evidence of this link is hard to ignore. A 2012 study showed that people with moderate or advanced periodontal disease are more likely to have heart disease than people with healthy gums.
The study does not definitively state that brushing and flossing regularly can prevent heart disease, but it stresses that periodontal disease can indicate heart health problems.
In 2014 a group of researchers found that the same bacteria that is known to cause gum disease also increases the risk of heart disease. This is more evidence of the link between your gums and your health.
In short, this means that by keeping your teeth and gums healthy you could also be caring for your heart. Most importantly, you should never ignore any pain or problems you feel in your mouth, and always stay up to date with your dental cleanings and care.
Keep a look out for the warning signs of periodontal disease which are:
- Bleeding gums
- Tenderness, redness and swelling of the gums
- Receding gums
- Pockets forming between the teeth and gums
- Teeth that feel loose
- Changes in your bite
- Persistent bad breath
If you have any questions about these symptoms or periodontal disease in general, feel free to contact our office.