Gum Disease and Your Heart
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious oral health condition. When it starts, however, it is often barely noticeable, if it is noticeable at all. Without treatment, gum disease only continues to get worse. Eventually, it can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can also impact your whole-body health, including your heart. If you have gum disease, The Elmwood Dental Group LLC can provide treatment to restore the health of your mouth and protect the health of your heart.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are several symptoms that come with gum disease. The exact symptoms you experience vary based on the severity of your condition. Common symptoms of gum disease include:
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Gum disease is often thought to be a condition that only affects your mouth. While it starts in the mouth, it can affect the rest of your body as well, including your heart. Gum disease is a progressive condition. When it first starts, many people do not often notice that they have it. However, as it continues to worsen, your irritated and inflamed gums begin to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria become trapped in these pockets and begin to attack your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. The bacteria can also enter directly into your bloodstream. Once there, they can spread throughout the body. These bacteria trigger an inflammatory response, which can cause the blood vessels to become narrower. This can lead to clogged arteries or atherosclerosis. Inside the heart, bacteria can cause inflammation that can lead to an infection known as endocarditis.
Heart Disease and Undergoing Dental Treatment
For those who are already living with heart disease, it is crucial that this information is disclosed before receiving any kind of dental treatment. Patients with heart disease may require pretreatment with antibiotics before undergoing certain types of procedures. Antibiotics are often prescribed for those who have suffered endocarditis in the past or those who have an artificial heart valve. You may also be prescribed antibiotics before treatment if you were born with certain heart conditions. These antibiotics are designed to help prevent infections and severe heart-related consequences during and after dental treatment.
Maintaining Your Oral Health and Your Heart Health
Maintaining your oral health is not only important for protecting the structures in your mouth, but it is also important for maintaining a healthy body and a healthy heart. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, as well as having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months to maintain the best results. In addition to maintaining good oral health, you can also work to protect your heart health by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, and seeing your doctor regularly.
Taking good care of your mouth can help to prevent serious oral health consequences, as well as serious consequences for the health of your heart. Call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC today at (860) 331-8748 for more information and to schedule your appointment.