You’re finally retiring. You’ve reached the “golden” age in life. Although there are plenty of things to look forward to in retirement, we often focus more on our health as we 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, “Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause (43.8 percent) of deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease in the US.”
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! Click here to find a dentist in your area.
Preventing gum disease now will help keep your smile and your heart healthy for years to come.
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.
Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
- 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. Click here to find a dentist in your area.
*Updated August 2019