• The connection between our hearts and our mouth is a strong one, but many people don’t realize the impact their oral health can have on their overall health.

    In February, we celebrate American Heart Month to bring awareness of that important connection.

    The Oral Health and Heart Connection

    Research has shown that the health of our mouths directly impacts the health of the rest of our body.  If we neglect our oral health, we are at risk not only for gum disease but also for heart disease.  But how does the mouth impact the heart?

    When plaque is not removed regularly through brushing and flossing, it irritates our gums and can cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gums that can lead to periodontitis or gum disease).  Gum disease, like many diseases, causes inflammation.  Inflammation in the mouth is considered a potential cause for inflammation elsewhere.  Studies show that people with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or another cardiovascular event.

    While exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, you can also fight off heart disease and maintain your overall health by maintaining good daily oral health habits.  Research indicates that people who said they brushed less than twice a day had three times the risk for heart disease compared to those who said they brushed at least twice a day for at least two minutes.  A healthy mouth and smile can keep your heart strong.

    Take a step in a healthier direction this month and schedule a dentist visit if you’re overdue.

    Delta Dental

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