Did You Know?
More than 80 percent of Americans are living with periodontal or gum disease, which often goes undiagnosed.
There is now evidence of two specific links between oral health and heart disease.
- Recent studies show that if you have gum disease in a moderate or advanced stage, you’re at greater risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums.
- Your oral health can provide doctors with warning signs for a range of diseases and conditions, including those in the heart.
Who Is at Risk?
Patients with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, particularly if it remains undiagnosed and unmanaged. The bacteria that are associated with gum infection are in the mouth and can enter the bloodstream, where they attach to the blood vessels and increase your risk to cardiovascular disease.
Gum disease can be painless, so it is important to be aware of the following symptoms:
- Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
- Swollen, red or tender gums
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth come together
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
- Sharp or dull pains when chewing foods
- Teeth that are overly sensitive to cold or hot temperatures
- Good oral health
- Regular dental examinations
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth comfortably
- Floss daily
- Visit your dentist for regular professional cleanings.
By being proactive about your oral health, you can protect yourself from developing a connection between oral health and heart disease, and keep your smile healthy, clean and beautiful throughout your life.
-American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy
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