If you want to maintain a healthy smile, it’s important to make sure that you take good care of your gums. This means brushing twice and flossing at least once per day, making regular appointments to see your dentist, and eating a healthy diet. Though all these things will help keep your pearly whites looking their best by preventing cavities and gum disease, they may also help you maintain a healthy heart. Read on to learn about how the condition of your smile can affect your cardiovascular health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Normally, good oral hygiene is enough to keep the bacteria in your mouth under control. However, if you neglect to brush and floss, bacteria can multiply and cause an infection called gum disease. Gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, is characterized by inflammation, redness, and tenderness. Though it’s easy to treat, a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis can cause gum recession, jawbone deterioration, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
Oral Health & Your Heart
Along with causing serious oral health issues, severe gum disease can also lead to complications in other parts of the body, such as the heart. People living with this condition are up to three times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or another major cardiovascular event. Additionally, inflammation that becomes chronic can lead to conditions like atherosclerosis, which is characterized by hardening or thickening of the veins. This can also lead to cardiovascular events like a stroke or heart attack.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Though gum disease can do a lot of damage to the body, there are several things you can do to prevent it, including
- Brush and floss – Brush twice for two minutes each time and floss once per day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth and prevent enamel damage. Though flossing at all is better than nothing, it’s best to do it before bed or after your last meal of the day.
- Don’t use tobacco products – If you smoke cigarettes, this makes you several times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Your doctor, therapist, or dentist may be able to provide you with resources to help you quit.
- Eat a healthy diet – Incorporate tooth-healthy foods like fish, low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean meats, and fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. These will provide your smile with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong.
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth, which can raise your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and several other oral health issues.
- Visit the dentist – Make biannual visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings. During these appointments, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove buildups of plaque and tartar. Your dentist will also examine the oral cavity to see if any issues have developed. If necessary, they will work with you to come up with a treatment plan to keep things from getting any worse.
Keep your smile and heart in good condition with the above tips to help you prevent gum disease. your body will surely thank you for it!
About the Practice
If you’re showing signs of gum disease and are in need of treatment, Artistry Smile Center is here to help. They offer gum infection treatments to thoroughly clean your mouth, remove harmful oral bacteria, and give your smile the care it needs to get back on track. To set up an appointment with Artistry Smile Center or for more information on gum disease treatment, visit their website or call their office today at (614) 451-7393.