The Pivotal Relationship Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Oral health heart healthDid you floss your teeth today? Did you floss them yesterday? Neglecting to carry out this simple and speedy daily task will impact your oral health and, some experts say, could take a toll your cardiac health too. There is still plenty of debate about whether a person’s flossing and brushing habits impact their heart health, but many studies have shown that people who have moderate gum disease or full-blown periodontal disease are more likely to have heart disease than individuals with healthy gums.

Know your risk for periodontitis: 5 ways to prevent gum disease >>

Understanding Gum Disease Risk Factors

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums, and it would make sense that the inflammation associated with heart disease is closely related to periodontitis. While the American Heart Association does not currently state that the treatment of gum disease will lessen the buildup of artery-clogging plaque that is responsible for causing a stroke or heart attack, they have stated that people with periodontitis often have risk factors that put their heart and blood vessels at risk as well.

While the chicken or the egg conundrum remains unsolved, and it is not accurate to state that having gum disease treatment will prevent you from having a heart attack, the fact remains – if your teeth are loose and your gums are bleeding, swollen, and painful, these are problems that need to be addressed regardless of how they may or may not impact the rest of your well-being.

The reality is that gum disease and heart disease have risk factors in common, like smoking, diabetes, and age, all of which can contribute to inflammation in the body. And heart disease involves inflammation.

Embrace a proactive approach to dental care >>

Managing Heart Health and Oral Health

Individuals who have diagnosed heart or valve issues are typically instructed by their cardiologist to inform their dentist of these problems. Cleaning the plaque from your teeth and mouth allows the bacteria to find its way into your bloodstream via your gums, which will give you a slightly elevated level of bacteria in your blood temporarily. Before a dental cleaning takes place, or any major dental procedures, heart disease sufferers are often prescribed a dose of antibiotics to prevent or limit the bacteria that will be dislodged in order to prevent any bacteria from entering the diseased valve and causing infection to begin there and spread throughout the body.

Holistic dentists are focused on providing their patients not only with good oral health care, but with good health care overall. Holistic dentists pay attention to their patients’ total health and wellness and are on the alert for any signs or symptoms that could point to larger health issues. Oral health holds clues about your overall health, not just your cardiac health. The state of your teeth can gums can provide warning signs for other conditions and diseases, such as diabetes, eating disorders, osteoporosis, and stress.

Many people who suspect underlying health problems, or who want confirmation about the oral health treatment that is best for them, will undergo biocompatibility testing. The results from these simple but informative tests alert your holistic dentist about problems that are festering within your body and negative reactions you might have to certain types of cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry treatments. The results of biocompatibility testing help ensure that you undergo the safest and most effective treatments for your mouth and body. 

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Visit Dr. Yolanda Cintron at the International Center for Dental Excellence to discuss your oral health concerns, schedule your biocompatibility testing, and to be evaluated for potential gum disease. There is no oral health issue that is too far gone to be treated. Even if you are in the depths of periodontitis, solutions are available, and you can regain full oral health – and end your treatment with a beautifully redone smile too – with the help of a talented and caring holistic dentist. Make an appointment today to discuss preventive dental care and your overall health and wellness.

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