February is Heart Health Month. And while most of us know that exercise, a good diet, and stress management are keys for heart health, most of us aren’t aware of the importance of good oral health for a healthy heart. So how do you know if gum disease is an issue? A few commons signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, tender or swollen gums, gum recession, chronic bad breath, and loose teeth. Studies have shown that gum disease affects an estimated 65 million Americans.
So what is the connection between your gums and your heart? Gum disease often occurs due to plaque, tartar, and bacteria forming under the gum line due to poor oral hygiene habits including not brushing and flossing regularly. Left untreated, the bacteria under the gum line will enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body – including the heart – leading to increased plaque formation and inflammation and larger heart issues.
The good news is some of the most effective methods for protecting yourself from gum disease are ones that you may already be doing or are fairly easy to implement including brushing at least two times a day for two minutes, flossing daily, abstaining from tobacco use, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. There are also several oral hygiene tools that can assist you in brushing and flossing including electric toothbrushes, water picks, floss picks, and more. If you find yourself having issues with brushing or flossing it may be worth checking out these tools.
Protect your gums, your heart, and your health. Give Jackson Dental a call today at 573-243-5200 to schedule your next dental appointment.