Cardiovascular Health and the Impact on Your Smile
Many people are unaware about how your oral health can affect the rest of your body, most importantly your heart and cardiovascular health. How do you know if gum disease may threaten your heart health? Plenty of evidence points to dental disorders such as periodontal disease has something to do with heart disease. County Dental at Middletown, NY will provide you with an understanding of how your smile can effect you heart health.
Oral Hygiene Conditions that Can be Related to Heart Disease
County Dental at Middletown, NY wants you to know there are a few conditions that can be related to the development of heart disease:
Genetics. Some people are genetically more prone to periodontal and gum disease than others. So if it runs in your family, you should be especially aware of the symptoms and have them checked right away with dentists at County Dental at Middletown, NY.
Cavities. Cavities, tiny holes in the teeth caused by tooth decay, are also caused by bacteria. a different sort of bacteria than the ones that cause gum disease. Cavities can still play a role in gum disease. For instance, if you have a cavity that irritates the gum, it can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease develops when bacteria build up in the gap between the gums and a tooth. Our County Dental at Middletown dentists remind you symptoms may be mild, but you might notice some redness, swelling, or bleeding. The only treatments you usually need are improved brushing and flossing habits.
Periodontitis. This is a more advanced form of gum disease, when the infection has gone deeper. The bacteria release toxins that make the surrounding tissue swell and infected pockets form between the teeth and gums. The infection can damage the bone beneath the gums, causing the gums to recede from the teeth.
Pericoronitis. This condition can happen when the wisdom teeth only partly push up through the gums, creating an opening for food or plaque to lodge under a flap of gum around the tooth. The tissue becomes swollen, painful, and infected. If the pericoronitis is severe, the swelling can move to the cheeks and neck.
Other dental problems County Dental at Middletown, NY reminds you to maintain awareness about include abscesses and missing teeth that can directly or indirectly irritate the gums and lead to bacteria infections. This harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to problems with our cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of certain disease-causing bacteria in the mouth were more likely to have atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries” in the carotid artery in the neck. Atherosclerosis develops when deposits of fats and other substances in your blood begin to stick to the sides of your arteries. These deposits, called plaques, can build up and narrow your arteries, clogging them like a plugged-up drain. If these plaques ever block the blood flow completely, you could have a heart attack or stroke, depending on the location of the blockage.
The best defense is to adopt good oral health habits and be on the lookout for problems with your teeth and gums. Our dental professionals at County Dental at Middletown, NY will tell you that healthy gums should be firm, a light pink color, and very elastic.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease are:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding after you floss or brush
- Receding gums
- Pus on the gums
- Pain when you bite or chew
- Loose teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s definitely time for a checkup. You can schedule an exam with one of our doctors at County Dental at Middletown to ensure that you can take all the preventative measure necessary to prevent gum disease. Call (845) 344-1003 or schedule an appointment online.
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