February is American Heart Month, an effort from the American Heart Association intended to raise awareness of heart disease along with support for research into its cures. It also marks a good time to consider your oral health and the impact your daily hygiene routine can have on the health of your heart.
According to research conducted by the Forsyth Institute, a Harvard-related not-for-profit research organization focused on oral health, people with periodontal disease, including gingivitis, are at two to three-times higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and similarly serious cardiovascular events. Researchers do not yet know why this is, but it may have to do with general inflammation throughout the body.
No studies have yet suggested that treating periodontal issues will prevent cardiovascular disease. There is, however, compelling evidence that taking steps to prevent gum disease may help to reduce your risks of developing heart issues in the first place. These steps can also help prevent tooth loss, gum recession, halitosis, and other issues related to gum disease.
Can Gum Disease be Prevented?
Preventing gum disease starts at home with a solid daily oral hygiene routine. This should include brushing after every meal and snack, and flossing before you brush at least twice a day. If you suspect you are developing gum disease, it may be a good idea to add an antibacterial mouthwash to your daily routine as well. We can help you determine if this is a good fit for your needs during your next office visit.
Speaking of office visits, be sure to visit our office every six months for professional cleanings. These allow us to remove bacteria and debris from underneath the gum line and in between the teeth. They also allow us to check for early warning signs of gum disease, enabling us to provide swift treatment that can help prevent more serious complications and risks.
When treated early on, gum disease is often minor and inconsequential. When allowed to progress, it can result in a host of serious oral and systemic health issues. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please call 864-288-5300 or 864-457-3425 to schedule a treatment consultation at our Greenville or Landrum office right away.