[:en]From previous research, we know that periodontitis significantly increases your chances of developing breast cancer, but did you know that there is also a link between periodontitis and heart disease? Since your mouth is the primary entryway to your entire body, the condition of your dental health can have a big impact on the rest of your body. In honor of February being both American Heart Month and Gum Disease Awareness Month, your local dentist at Smile Workshop San Antonio has the scoop on the link between these two systemic diseases.
More Common Than You Might Think
Research has proven that people with periodontitis are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease at some point in their life. Chances may be even greater for those with high cholesterol. Unfortunately, these diseases are fairly common in America. With more than 85 million Americans having some form of cardiovascular disease and more than 200 million having periodontal disease, building awareness for these two diseases could save lives.
Periodontitis and Heart Disease
The link between periodontitis and heart disease seems to stem from the same kind of harmful bacteria. These bacteria enter your bloodstream through your mouth and travel to other parts of your body and cause inflammation. Swelling is the first sign since this is your body’s natural defense to an infection.
This harmful bacterium develops in your mouth when proper oral hygiene techniques are not practiced on an everyday basis. Removing these bacteria is as simple as brushing twice daily, flossing once daily and visiting your local dentist at Smile Workshop once every six months for a routine dental cleaning.
Early signs of periodontitis include swollen or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, pain in the mouth and bad breath. If you notice any of these signs in your own mouth, it is important to seek help from a dental professional. As with any disease, stopping gum disease in its earliest stage will give you the best chance for a full recovery. Have any more questions regarding the link between periodontitis and heart disease? Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!
Image from Thinkstock by Getty Images. Item Number: 680399508[:]