February is American Heart Month, a campaign from the American Heart Association intended to get regular folks thinking about their heart health. This makes February a great time to consider the impact your oral health has on heart health, and to make adjustments as needed to keep your heart (and your smile) healthy and strong for life.
Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Health
According to research conducted by Harvard-related nonprofit research organization the Forsyth Institute, people with gum disease are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease. Links between periodontal health and heart attack, stroke, and similarly serious cardiovascular events are well-documented and, while the causational link is still elusive, the evidence seems to point to how bacterial gum infections impact general inflammation throughout the body.
In addition to heart disease, gum disease is a known risk factor for:
- Kidney and Liver Failure
- Certain Types of Cancer
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Premature Birth and Pregnancy Complications
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it is very important to speak to a qualified dentist right away. Seeking treatment can help reduce your risks for tooth loss and other negative oral health consequences, and may even help save your life by reducing your risks of developing metabolic syndrome and other serious systemic health conditions.
Red or Swollen Gums?
Gingivitis is the most common type of gum disease. It’s estimated that around 80% of adults will experience this mild form of gum disease at some point. Fortunately, in its earliest stages, gingivitis responds very well to enhanced at-home care coupled with professional services like scaling and root planing.
When allowed to progress, more advanced treatments may be needed to correct the problem and, even with treatment, may not undo damage or heightened risks caused by its presence. This makes contacting our office at the first sign of gum disease your best defense against more worrisome health concerns.
Remember, Forestream Dental is a judgment-free zone. We’re not here to scold you or criticize the steps you have taken thus far to keep your teeth healthy and clean. We are only interested in helping you achieve your goals and are honored to offer a safe, thoughtful, and inviting environment to help you do just that. Please give us a call at 716-656-8686 to schedule your initial treatment consultation and learn more.