If you have reason to give your heart a little extra TLC, odds are that you’re trying to eat right, exercise, and chatting with your doctor about ways you can improve your heart health. But did you know that visiting your Newport Beach dentist can be an important way of treating your heart right?
Gum Disease And Inflammation
Everyone has heard of inflammation–it seems to be involved with almost every ache and pain we get. Inflammation in the body can come from infection or a disease process like arthritis. When it becomes generalized, it can damage other structures in the body. Although the research isn’t yet conclusive, there are strong indications that infection in one area (like the teeth) can cause inflammation in other areas (like the arteries around the heart). Why does it matter whether an artery gets inflamed? When an artery is inflamed, it’s at greater risk for microscopic injury as red blood cells and platelets go rushing through it. These microscopic injuries, over time, cause sticky cholesterol to build up at that place on the wall of the artery. And, after still more time, a sticky buildup of cholesterol can lead to a blockage–and a heart attack.
How To Prevent Inflammation In Your Mouth
Inflammation isn’t just dangerous–it also downright doesn’t feel good. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to minimize the discomfort and risks that inflammation can cause. Because inflammation is typically a response to bacteria or other disease processes, good dental care is the first step toward keeping your mouth healthy and inflammation-free. Here’s our suggestions for preventing inflammation:
- See your dentist regularly. Getting cleanings and checkups every six months or so is the easiest and best way to catch problems early, and prevent many before they start. Your hygienist can help you to remove plaque and tartar from areas that are difficult to reach at home.
- Brush and floss daily. Remember, cavities and other dental problems are primarily caused by bacterial infections. The easiest way to keep bacteria from becoming overwhelming is to break up their colonies on the tooth surface and under the gums with regular, gentle brushing and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet. Luckily, the same kinds of foods that are good for your heart–fruits and vegetables, meats, and grains–are also great for your teeth. Foods to avoid? Excessive sweets and acidic drinks like coffee, soda, and wine.
While there are plenty of reasons to care for your teeth, it’s nice to know that when you use proper dental practices you’re also doing your heart good–literally!
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart? – www.webmd.com
Dental Health And Heart Health – www.heart.org