Gum Disease and Heart Health

tooth-heartNearly 80% of American adults suffer from gum disease! Gum disease can devastate your oral health, causing serious dental problems. In fact, the number one reason for adult tooth loss in the United States is untreated gum disease. Worse, though, is the effect that gum disease can have on your heart health.

Research conducted recently found that patients who had suffered heart attacks also suffered from poor oral health, too. And the American Academy of Periodontology notes that people diagnosed with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.

How do you know if you have gum disease? You may have periodontal infection if your gums:

  • Bleed during or after brushing your teeth
  • Feel tender, swollen, or sore
  • Look red or discolored
  • Form pockets around your teeth

One of the simplest ways to ensure good gum health is to brush twice, floss once, and use a fluoridated oral rinse every day. Getting regular check-ups at least twice a year gives your dentists the opportunity to check your gums—and keep you on track to periodontal health.

According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, patients who were treated for periodontitis showed improvements in endothelial (cells that line blood vessels) function. So, getting your oral health in order can also improve your overall health, too!