Affairs of the Heart – Affairs of the Teeth
The heart of the matter
Hearing that “Individuals with gum disease are at increased risk of developing heart disease” isn’t exactly the positive connotation that anyone wants to hear, but that doesn’t mean you should put your head in the sand. Whether you’re a dentist or not, understanding the connection between gingivitis and heart disease is crucial to your long term health.
Is gum disease linked to heart disease?
In short: yes. There is ample scientific literature devoted to the link between long term gingivitis and heart disease. This is especially true for individuals without a history of routine dental care or professional cleanings, as this is typically indicative of other, more serious long term health problems.
Are bleeding gums a sign of heart disease?
While you might be familiar with bleeding gums being a warning sign that you have gingivitis, it isn’t a direct sign of heart disease. However, if you have had bleeding gums for a longer period of time, there is a much higher chance that you will experience cardiac-related issues. In fact, there is evidence of oral bacteria being found in blood vessels far from the mouth.
Can you reverse gum disease?
Early signs of gingivitis include a receding gum line, inflammation, and bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Reversing and correcting these symptoms is a matter of commitment to better oral hygiene as well as professional consultation from your dentist.
A professional touch
Truly, prevention is the best medicine, but there is no greater advantage than having your dentist help you to map out a plan and monitor your progress. There’s no shame in admitting that you haven’t been taking care of your teeth as well as you should. Your fast track to healthier teeth and a healthier body starts with visiting your dentist.