The American Heart Association published a statement linking gum disease and heart disease. Although there isn’t scientific data to prove that regular brushing, flossing and, especially, treatment of gum disease will decrease the incidence of heart disease; the lack of proper mouth care is proven to cause a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
There are credible reasons why dental health and heart health would be intertwined. For example, both heart disease and gum disease are an inflammation. When plaque builds on your teeth, it is an inflammatory process.
When a person has moderate to severe gum disease, their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that rises during a whole-body inflammation, increases. CRP levels are also used to assess a person’s risk of a heart attack.
The most important thing you can do to avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health is:
• Brush teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride
• Clean between teeth daily with floss.
• Eat a balanced diet and limit snacking between meals.
• Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings.
Proper maintenance of your teeth and especially your gums will give you a healthy smile and may keep your heart healthy too.
If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Department, call 718-206-6980.