You may be wondering why your dentist in Austin is choosing to talk about heart health. As a dedicated member of your medical team, we’re not only concerned with keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but rather we’re committed to keeping your whole body healthy. And it just so happens that your oral health plays a key role in overall wellness, including heart health. So during this American Heart Health Month, we want to provide all of our patients with important information on how keeping your smile in tip-top shape can help you maintain a healthy body.
How Does Dentistry Play a Role?
As research continues to advance what we know about heart disease, a strong correlation between oral health and heart health has been discovered. This link begins with gum health and, more specifically, gum disease. Gum disease is essentially an infection in the gum tissue that can lead to tooth loss. But perhaps what’s more concerning is that this infection has a direct route to the bloodstream. If it spreads, your body will produce excessive amounts of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is one of the known indicators of cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of CRP can lead to some serious health issues including:
- Inflamed arteries
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
How to Avoid Gum Disease
The best way to avoid gum disease and the dangerous effects it can have on your heart is to prevent it by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. It’s also crucial to visit your Austin dentist twice a year to remove buildup that your toothbrush just can’t touch.
Know the Signs
One of the scariest things about gum disease is that it can develop rapidly before you even suspect a problem. It is treatable and success is more likely if caught in the early stages. Knowing this, you should be aware of some early signs of gum disease so that you can seek treatment early. Some things to look out for include:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Puffy, tender gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that feel loose
If you recognize any of the signs above, or it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, call our dental office in Austin to schedule an appointment. Your smile and your heart will thank you.