A Healthy Smile Can Lead to a Healthy Heart


February is American Heart Health Month, a time to raise awareness about heart health and the importance of preventative care. One aspect of preventative care that often goes overlooked is oral health. While most people understand the importance of brushing and flossing to maintain healthy teeth and gums, many don’t realize that oral health also plays a crucial role in heart health.

Many doctors, scientists, and researchers have studied the connection between gum disease and heart disease to determine if one is a potential cause of the other. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. People with periodontal disease may experience puffiness, bleeding and tenderness in the gums. They may also notice that their gums are receding, or pulling back to expose more of the tooth. 

Over time, untreated periodontal disease can progress to periodontitis and cause infection in not only the gums but in the bones of the jaw as well. This can lead to tooth loss, abscesses and severe pain.
Periodontal Disease & Treatment Stamford | Best Dentists in CT
As gum disease progresses through the body, many studies show that it increases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attack as much as 2-3 times. They say this can be caused due to the bacteria in the mouth penetrating the gums and traveling into the bloodstream. Because periodontal disease causes pockets to form in the gums around the teeth, more bacteria can gather and potentially penetrate the blood vessels.

A common heart issue is infective endocarditis, which is an infection in the lining of the heart, and the main cause is bacteria in the bloodstream. A leading cause is gum disease, along with poor oral hygiene, minor gum injury caused by tooth brushing, and dental procedures.

Heart Health | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Individuals with existing cardiovascular issues are at a higher risk of developing infective endocarditis, especially when the gums are infected or when unhealthy gums are manipulated during a dental procedure.

Take care of your teeth like your heart depends on it

The connection between oral health and heart health is a very strong topic in the medical field today, and one that industry professionals continue to research aggressively to try and learn from in order to prevent heart health issues across the world. The more educated we can become, the healthier we can all be. The most important thing we can do now is focus on prevention.

The 8 best practices for healthy teeth and gums

How can we maintain good oral health in order to prevent the risk of heart disease? We can recommend a few simple habits:

  1. Brushing and Flossing Daily: Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of teeth, while flossing removes food particles and bacteria from between teeth.
  2. Eating a Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help keep teeth and gums healthy. It’s also important to limit sugary and acidic foods, which can erode tooth enamel and lead to decay.
  3. Avoiding Tobacco Use: Smoking and using other tobacco products can lead to gum disease and other oral health problems. Quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco use is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being.
  4. Scheduling Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health. Campi Dental can identify and treat any oral health problems before they become more serious.

When you think about your health, don’t forget that your oral health is part of the bigger picture. Everything is connected, so when you take care of your teeth, you take care of your heart.

Maintaining strong oral health is an important part of your overall health and well-being, especially when it comes to heart health. By adopting good oral hygiene habits and scheduling regular dental check-ups, we can reduce the risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems that can lead to heart disease. Let’s make this American Heart Month a time to prioritize our oral health and take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy smile and a healthy heart.