Since Valentine’s Day occurs in February, this is a great time to talk about the connection between your smile, your heart, and your overall health. Some patients are surprised to hear that there even is a connection. There is, but it’s not obvious.
Research indicates that gum disease is what is connects your smile with other health problems. Gum disease is the result of bacteria and plaque collecting around your teeth and gums. The symptoms of gum disease include sensitive or bleeding gums, bad breath, and more. If left untreated, gum disease can cause pockets to form between your teeth and gums. These pockets give bacteria and plaque a way into your bloodstream and from there to the rest of the body, including the heart. Once there, the bacteria and plaque of gum disease can contribute to clotting and even heart attack.
Other health problems that gum disease can influence include:
- Pre-term birth
Given all this, what can you do to protect your smile and your health in general? First, I recommend flossing once a day and brushing at least twice, but if you can do it after every meal that’s even better. A good antibacterial mouthwash will also help by eliminating bacteria.
Second, I would encourage you to see me at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. These appointments are important because they let me watch for signs of gum disease. If I find anything, I can start treating it immediately. The earlier your gum disease can be treated the better, for both your oral health and your overall wellbeing.
Do you have questions about this post, or do you need to schedule an appointment with me? Call Complete Dental Care in Burlington, MA today. I offer great care to patients from Burlington, Bedford, Billerica, Woburn, and beyond.