Maryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN
Each year in the U.S., heart disease claims the life of one out of every four adults. As a society, we are accustomed to warnings and risks associated with heart disease. Diet, exercise, and certain lifestyle choices have a significant bearing on whether or not you are at risk of developing this deadly disease. While making good food choices and hitting the pavement, or the gym, regularly can keep your heart healthy, so could this simple two-minute routine.
What we are talking about here is brushing your teeth. A new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2018 revealed a strong connection between people’s tooth-brushing habits and their risk of having or dying from cardiovascular disease or stroke. The study included 682 participants who were asked about their tooth-brushing habits. Various other factors were accounted for in this study. Participants that said they brushed their teeth fewer than two minutes each day had three times as higher risk of developing heart disease than participants who brushed the recommended two minutes twice a day.
Could it really be that you can lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke just by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes? Well, it isn’t quite that simple, but certainly, there is a significant correlation between the two. Another study published in Hypertension, states that gum disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease in the mouth, can worsen hypertension, and interfere with medications used to treat the disease. How can this be?
Well, for starters, gum disease causes chronic inflammation within the body. Inflammation is a precursor to many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even certain types of cancer. But, that doesn’t mean that all you have to do is keep your teeth clean, and then eat what you want without exercising, and expect to be healthy. But, if you take care of your body in one area, chances are that you will make healthy choices in other areas.
Let’s take a moment to look at how gum disease starts, and why it’s so dangerous
Not brushing and flossing your teeth daily, and skipping out on your twice-yearly dental checkups and cleanings lead to tartar buildup on your teeth, which fuels cavity-causing bacteria. As these bacteria, which naturally occur in everyone’s mouths, break down sugars, they secrete acids that erode dental enamel and cause gum disease. If ignored, this tartar buildup will inflame the gums, and cause an infection. As many as half of adults in the U.S. have gum disease, and unfortunately, most don’t even know that they have it!
Here’s how to tell if you have gum disease, and what to do about it
Gum disease starts as gingivitis, which presents as gums that are tender, red, and inflamed that bleed easily. You may notice a little pink in the sink when you brush or floss your teeth. This stage is reversible with good oral hygiene. But, if ignored the disease will progress into periodontitis, which is irreversible, but manageable with professional dental treatments and good at-home oral hygiene. Signs that your gum disease is progressing may include loose teeth, receding gums, foul smell breath, and missing teeth. As the gums separate from the teeth during the later stage of gum disease, this harmful bacteria now can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. The chronic inflammation of the gums is a precursor to many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. The best way to prevent gum disease is by brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each session, floss daily, and visit your Maryville dentist for routine cleanings and checkups.
Dentist in Maryville accepting new patients
If you have gum disease, the only way to stop is it to get treatment. If you think that you have gum disease, or have been diagnosed previously by a dentist, contact Cedar Street Family Dentistry or call (865) 233-7640 to learn about your treatment options.