The Connection between Oral Health and Heart Health

February 7, 2014

oral and overall healthOn February 14, couples across the country celebrated another Valentine’s Day. Given how important the heart is to that day—or at least cartoonish version of one—we decided to use our first post of the month to talk about the connection between heart health and oral health.

You might be surprised to hear that your smile and your heart are connected, but recent data indicates that they are. How exactly? That’s not entirely clear, but it seems to involve gum disease, a very common oral health problem.

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria and plaque around the gum line. If left untreated, pockets can form between your teeth and your gums, giving bacteria and plaque a way into your bloodstream and other parts of the body as well, like the heart. Once there, they can contribute to clotting and even heart attack.

But heart health isn’t the only thing gum disease can affect. Other health problems include:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Pre-term birth
  • Pneumonia

If you struggle with gum disease, or you want to prevent it, there are a couple of steps you can take to protect your smile and your overall wellbeing. First, make sure you’re brushing and flossing on a regular basis. An antibacterial mouthwash will also help you control bacteria and stop gum disease from forming. Second, make sure you’re visiting Westside Dental Associates for regular appointments with Dr. Latner. During a regular checkup, Dr. Latner can look for gum disease and help you treat it if he finds anything. Treating gum disease early is important for enjoying good oral and overall health.

Call Westside Dental Associates today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Latner. We serve patients from Los AngelesSanta MonicaBeverly HillsWest LAMar VistaCulver CityRancho ParkWestwoodBrentwoodVeniceMarina del ReyPlaya Vista, and beyond.

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