whats in your mouth affects your heart

whats in your mouth affects your heartMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

You’ve been hearing it for the majority of your life: brush your teeth at least twice per day, and don’t forget to floss. After all the reminders, you might be tempted to roll your eyes the next time someone lectures you about the importance of dental hygiene. Don’t! Neglecting your regular brushing and flossing elevates your risk of developing gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and even threaten your life. Read on as Dr. Ben Sentell at Cedar Street Family Dentistry explains how the bacteria in your mouth can affect your heart.

We all have bacteria in our mouths, but maintaining balance is key

If you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, the bad bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause harm to your oral health, and even your body. Left unchecked, this bacteria forms into plaque that sticks on your teeth and is the initial building block of tooth decay. In addition to developing into cavities, the bacteria and plaque also can invade your gum tissue, creating an infection that causes gum disease. 

Gum disease creates inflammation, which can hinder the healing process. That inflammation can affect your body in other ways. Through the years, various medical studies have determined links between gum disease and a higher risk factor of other systemic, potentially life-threatening ailments, including diabetes, cardiac disease, stroke, impotence, respiratory problems, and osteoporosis. In fact, research completed by the American Academy of Periodontology found that patients with gum disease had nearly double the risk factor of developing heart disease. This occurs if the bacteria and plaque in your mouth filter into the bloodstream, where blockages can form in the arteries, leading to cardiac disease. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream when gum disease is present because the gums separate from the base of your teeth, allowing direct entry for bacteria to circulate in your body.

Know the signs of gum disease

It takes quite some time for gum disease to develop to the point it can threaten your health and wellness. The initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. In this early stage of infection, your gums may be puffy, swollen, sore, red, or bleed easily. Prompt treatment is key if you identify any of these symptoms.

Take ownership of your oral health

As adults, each of us is responsible ultimately for our own health and wellness. You are accountable for your own life choices. If you know the threats of gum disease, take steps now to lower your risk! That means brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist every six months for a check-up that includes a professional cleaning and a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth.

Preventive Care in Maryville

When it comes to lowering your risk of gum disease, it’s like any other health issue. Prevention is your best defense. In addition to offering cleanings and check-ups, Cedar Street Family Dentistry offers preventive care such as fluoride treatments. If you do develop gum disease, Dr. Sentell can treat your infection through a course of repetitive therapy, which combines scaling and root planing.

Ready to learn more? Schedule an initial consultation today by calling our office at (865) 233-7640 if you live in the areas of Knoxville, Alcoa, and Maryville in Tennessee.