Dental health is not only important for your mouth but for your entire body. Taking care of your smile with regular cleanings and having necessary dental work done is important to your oral health and self confidence. However, recent studies have linked heart disease with the simple act of brushing your teeth. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, those who have periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to also have coronary artery disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies. The findings show that oral bacteria is likely to harm blood vessels and cause blood clots due to the release of toxins into the blood stream. While there is no scientific data to make these findings fact, there have been consistent results showing there is an association between gum disease and heart disease.
New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.
Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring.
Our Dental Team will work with you to ensure you maintain a healthy smile and heart. We closely monitor and evaluate you at every visit. We will explain the tools and techniques needed to achieve and maintain optimum Oral Health. By following our recommended maintenance schedule you are insuring we remove all the plaque and bacteria that would otherwise remain below the gingiva and affect your health.
If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, including:
- Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75 percent of the U.S. population.
- Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.
- Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment. Provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.
At home, you can practice good oral hygiene:
- Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
- Exercise preventive care and schedule regular dental checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease.