The American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month to raise awareness of the number one cause of death worldwide: cardiovascular disease. But did you know that there’s a connection between cardiovascular health and oral health?
People with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as those without, and gum disease has been linked to stroke as well.
Although scientists can’t say that gum disease causes cardiovascular disease, both conditions are related to inflammation. Gum disease can result when dental plaque causes inflammation. Inflammation is also a major factor in heart disease and stroke, since it leads to thickening of the artery walls and causes damage to blood vessels.
So what can you do for the best heart health and oral health?
- For one, a diet that reduces inflammation throughout a body is recommended for both gum health and heart health. This means eating plenty of whole grains and limiting your intake of refined carbohydrates like sugar, bakery goods, and white rice.
- In addition, make sure your food choices supply enough fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Help prevent gum disease by maintaining good oral hygiene at home and keeping up with regular dental visits.
- Finally, get plenty of exercise for the best cardiovascular health.
The relationship between gum disease and heart disease is not completely understood, but if you keep your mouth and body healthy, you will reduce your risk of both gum disease and heart disease. For more information, please contact us or schedule a consultation by calling (815) 741-1700.