When it comes to fighting coronary artery disease (or heart disease), the most common “prescription” is plenty of exercise and a low-fat diet. Regularly working up a good sweat and cutting back on your consumption of fatty foods can definitely help you keep your heart healthy. We also have some ideas about our natural dentistry service offerings that can help keep you healthy!
However, there is another activity that researchers & Aspen dentists believe may play a crucial role in preventing heart disease, and it’s one most people aren’t aware of: brushing and flossing. Your oral health, in particular, the health of your gums, is increasingly being linked to your risk for heart disease. There are multiple solutions to this easily preventable problem, which include natural dentistry, that we will go over in the remainder of this blog.
Unhealthy Gums, Unhealthy Heart?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, studies show that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. This is why, as an Aspen dentist, we offer multiple oral health solutions that can help keep your heart and mouth healthy. Other research indicates coronary artery disease can be predicted as accurately by cavities, unhealthy gums, and missing teeth as by cholesterol levels.
How are oral health and heart health related? A definitive connection has not yet been established. We do know that bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream through your gums. Some scientists suspect that these bacteria may adhere to the plaque already present in an artery, increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. Others believe that the presence of these bacteria in the blood can trigger the body’s own defense mechanisms, causing blood vessels to swell and constrict, increasing the likelihood of a cardiac event.
Another Reason for Practicing Great Oral Care
Most researchers in the field agree that there is a connection of some kind between oral health and heart health, even if they won’t yet officially state that there is a link. And while it’s possible that the relationship between the two is being interpreted incorrectly and heart disease somehow causes an increase in mouth bacteria that results in gum disease, the connection is still important.
Heart disease is difficult to detect in its early stages since there are initially no symptoms of a blockage forming. So if simply examining your mouth could help your dentist and doctor collaborate on a diagnosis, your doctor could intervene much earlier.
How should this information affect you? First, you should see it as a good incentive to invest some extra time and effort in your brushing and flossing routine. Not only are you tending to your oral health, but you may be helping your heart as well. Second, if you notice any significant change in the condition of your gums, it’s a good idea to talk with your Aspen dentist or doctor right away. Your symptoms may have nothing to do with heart disease, but it never hurts to have an exam. Finally, you should keep in mind that a healthy mouth doesn’t necessarily guarantee a healthy heart. Good diet, plenty of exercise, and regular physicals are still a must!
A Holistic Approach to Dental Care
At Elevate, we’re firm believers in the ability of all the body’s systems to affect one another. And we’re here to ensure that your oral health is making a positive contribution to your overall health. Visit elevatewillits.com or call 970-279-5647 to schedule your comprehensive oral wellness exam with Drs. Steinbach and Van Gorden.
As Aspen dentists, we proudly provide comprehensive, biological dental & natural dentistry care to patients of all ages from Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, and surrounding Colorado areas.