At your dental appointment, you’re not surprised to get X-rays taken of your teeth, but when the dental assistant whips out a blood pressure cuff, you’re surprised. What does your blood pressure have to do with your oral health? Why would your dentist be concerned about your heart?
The truth is that your dentist cares about your overall well-being, not just your teeth. Plus, believe it or not, your oral health can impact your heart, and taking your blood pressure can allow your dentist to identify potentially serious conditions. Keep reading to learn more about how your dentist can help you take care of your heart.
How the Oral Health and Heart Health Are Related
The most obvious connection between your mouth and your heart is that what you eat affects how well your heart can function. When you eat healthy foods, your body can work optimally. However, beyond the food you intake, what happens inside your mouth can impact your overall health.
In an infection called gum disease or periodontal disease, harmful, inflammatory bacteria cause the gums to bleed easily. When this happens, these oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Sometimes, it can exacerbate circulatory problems in arteries or veins, increasing your risk of developing heart disease and experiencing a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke.
How Protecting Your Mouth Protects Your Heart
While neglecting your oral health can negatively affect your heart health, taking care of your teeth and gums can help you improve your health. By keeping bacterial growth to a minimum, you keep inflammation down, which helps your heart have an easier time circulating blood throughout your body.
How to Take Care of Your Smile
Although other healthy habits, such as regular exercise and nutritious diet, are necessary to strengthen your heart, keeping your mouth healthy is important in lowering your chances of heart disease. Fortunately, caring for your smile is fairly simple. Here are the things you need to do:
- Brush your teeth twice every day
- Floss your teeth once every day
- Meet with your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning
- Limit the amount of sugar you eat
- Drink plenty of water.
If you already have periodontal disease, your dentist can provide the therapy and care needed to get the infection back under control.
Ultimately, the health of your smile isn’t the only determining factor for your heart health; however, it plays an essential role in keeping your body strong. When you make the time and effort to preserve your smile with the help of your dentist, you can help your heart work more efficiently and smoothly.
About the Practice
Galleria Dentistry has the privilege of having two generations with three dentists in the same family in one office. Each Dr. Benza has years of advanced training and experience and enjoys getting to know patients on a personal level. Our patients’ well-being is always our first priority. If it has been a while since your last checkup and cleaning appointment, don’t delay and contact Galleria Dentistry for an appointment by calling 239-249-8582 or clicking here.