dental health and heart disease - medical professional making a heart with their hands

The Link Between Dental Health and Heart Health

Here at Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we always stress the importance of good oral health, because of how it affects your overall health. For example, did you know that there’s a direct link between dental health and heart disease? If you’re wondering how your oral health could possibly have an effect on your cardiovascular health, let us explain further. 

Gum Disease and Heart Health

Keeping your gums healthy through good daily oral hygiene habits is very important. In fact, a recent study from the American Heart Association (AHA) found people who brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Gum disease—also known as gingivitis—weakens the structure of your gums. This allows bacteria to form plaque below the gumline and enter your body’s bloodstream. Bacteria in the bloodstream affect other areas of the body, including the heart, causing inflammation and other issues. 

Earlier this year, the AHA announced a new study showing a link between good dental hygiene and infective endocarditis, a heart disease caused by bacteria that enter the body through the mouth. Another study in Sweden found that gum disease was more common in patients who had a heart attack for the first time.

Dental Care Tips for Heart Health

Because there is a link between dental hygiene and heart disease, it is important to let your dentist know if you have a history of heart issues in your family, and whether you are taking any medications. Some heart disease medications can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, that affect your oral health. If you are taking blood thinners, you absolutely need to inform your dentist prior to any oral surgeries. 

By maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can keep gum disease from harming your heart health and overall health. At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we recommend: 

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day 
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Visiting us for gentle dental cleaning and exam at least twice a year
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Eating a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins
  • Natural remedies like oil pulling or Himalayan salt rinse

Treatments for Gum Disease

If you have gum disease, you can prevent it from growing worse and endangering your heart health. Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry offers several different periodontal treatments that can help stop gum disease in its tracks.

Laser therapy is quick, effective, and completely painless. This non-invasive treatment reduces pocket size, kills bacteria, and helps to restore damaged gum tissue. It may be combined with other non-invasive procedures such as scaling and root planing to discourage the buildup of tartar and bacteria.

In advanced cases, soft tissue grafts can help repair receding gums. During this procedure, healthy tissue from the roof of the mouth is surgically grafted onto the gums. The grafted tissue covers the exposed tooth roots and helps prevent further gum recession.

Gentle Dental Cleanings in Glendale

Getting a dental exam at least twice a year is one of the best ways to protect your dental health and prevent heart disease. If it’s been a while since your last cleaning, give Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry a call today to schedule a gentle dental cleaning. We can spot the early signs of receding gums, and put you on a course of treatment that will help restore your gums and protect your heart! 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels