You’re finally retiring. You’ve reached the “golden” age in life. Although there are plenty of things to look forward to in retirement, your health becomes a bigger issue as you age. And, since there is a correlation between certain diseases and oral health, it is vitally important to take care of your mouth now. Make sure preventable health conditions do not slow you down in your golden years.
Here’s the great news: You can help brush off heart disease, simply by brushing your teeth!
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., regardless of gender. With statistics like that, we’d all be prudent to take action now to reduce our chances of developing the disease. Practicing good oral health is an easy place to start.
You may wonder how dental disease and heart disease are connected. Gum disease is a bacterial infection. A person with gum disease has roughly double the risk of developing heart disease, as compared to a person without gum disease.
How is this possible? Bacteria in the mouth can migrate into the blood stream and form small blood clots. The clots can contribute to the clogging of arteries. Inflammation from gum disease can also lead to the buildup of fatty deposits inside the heart arteries.
The connection can also go the other way. Certain drugs used to treat heart disease can cause dry mouth, increased plaque or enlarged gum tissue. These conditions can lead to gum infections which makes heart disease and gum disease a two-way street.
Regular brushing and flossing can help decrease your risk for heart disease and keep your mouth healthy. You should also visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings. Only dental professionals can remove the tarter and plaque that builds up on your teeth.
Don’t wait to see your dentist!
Preventing gum disease now will help keep your smile and your heart healthy for years to come.