February is Heart Health Month

Show your teeth some love!

Did you know that your mouth is a window to your overall health?  Research has shown that the condition of your oral health can provide warning signs and make you susceptible to many other diseases.  Even in the early stages your dentist may be able to detect some of these signs.  Gingivitis is chronic inflammation of the gums and tissue that surrounds the area.  It is caused by bacterial plaque that is left on your teeth when not brushed or flossed everyday.  The plaque then turns into tarter which is filled with harmful bacteria.  This bacteria can infect the bone below the gums and cause more serious periodontal  disease.  Research suggests that gum inflammation caused by dental plaque can lead to inflammation which then can become associated with blood vessel damage seen in cardiovascular disease.

If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome your dental health can affect your blood sugar and the amount of medication that is needed to balance your blood sugar.  Again, inflammation seems to be the culprit.   If you notice any changes in your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist.  Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tarter so don't skip a cleaning.  Other ways to protect your oral health are:Kathy Candid 1

Brush at least twice daily

Floss everyday

Eat plenty of vegetables and keep a balanced diet

Drink water

Replace your toothbrush every 3 months

Avoid tobacco products

Remember, oral exams and cleanings twice a year are an important part of preventative health care!