Heart health and oral health have a lot in common.
Both gum disease and heart disease involve swelling (inflammation). Gum disease affects the tissues that surround and support teeth. It’s an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. In its early stages, gum disease can be treated and often reversed.
Your decisions impact your heart and mouth. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, and it’s estimated that more than half of gum disease cases relate to smoking.
Since the 2 are so closely related, poor dental health has been debated as a possible cause of heart disease.
That’s why it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums by
• Brushing your teeth twice a day
• Flossing your teeth once a day
• Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
• Seeing your dentist for preventive care
• Exercising regularly
If you’re concerned about heart disease, ask your doctor about how to reduce your risk. And if you’re looking for a fun way to improve your fitness, head to the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk on Saturday, June 6. We’ll be there handing out toothbrushes and celebrating a commitment to a healthy life. We hope you’ll join us!