February is Heart Health Month

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There is a direct relationship between your heart health and your oral health — and maintaining proper oral hygiene is key to staying healthy.

Here are some important facts to consider:

  • Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.
  • Studies show that people with moderate to advanced stages of gums disease are at a greater risk for heart disease.

The Link Between Gum Disease & Heart Disease

The common link between gum disease and heart disease is inflammation.

Your gums are vascular — they are filled with tiny blood vessels  —  and this makes your gums an easy conduit for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. The bacteria found in gum disease (streptococcus sanguis) triggers inflammation in the mouth as well as throughout the body.

The more streptococcus bacteria you have, the thicker the walls of your arteries will be, and this restricts blood flow. This can result in illnesses including clogged arteries and stroke.

Studies have shown that the absence of gum disease results in significantly less bacteria in the heart and decreased inflammation in the arteries that carry the blood to the heart and brain.

What Are The Signs of Gum Disease?

Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen gums — often this is painless.
  • Bleeding while brushing and flossing.
  • Infection in and around your gums and teeth.
  • Loose teeth, caused by bone loss.
  • Bad breath.
  • Having a bad taste in your mouth.

Easy Steps To Avoid Gum Disease

Maintaining good oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing, and dental examinations are the easiest steps to take to avoid gum disease and potential, serious heart-related complications.

Don’t leave your oral health on the bottom of your to-do list. Contact the office of Dr. Simon Pong and schedule a dental examination appointment today. We’ll help you stay healthy.

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