The Relationship between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

To commemorate February’s designation as both American Heart Month and National Children’s Dental Health Month, we want to shine the light on the relationship between a healthy mouth and a healthy heart! Good habits are formed early, through repetition and reinforcement. When you stress healthy teeth and gums to your children, they’ll become adults that continue to take care of their oral health!

There has been ongoing research and debate for years about the link between oral health and heart health. The data points to a connection between inflammation or swelling in the gums and a greater risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a 2015 article on WebMD.com, “Your gums are very vascular, meaning they’re full of blood vessels. And, your mouth is full of bacteria. If you disrupt the gum layer even a little bit, you’re going to get bacteria in your bloodstream, which can go anywhere and trigger inflammation throughout the body”.

There has also been suggested that a relationship exists between poor dental health habits and generally poor health habits overall. Those that don’t pay attention to their teeth and gums are unlikely to be physically active or eat a healthy diet, leading to more problems that may put them in long-term danger.

Starting your children out with consistent brushing and flossing habits, along with regular visits to their dentist goes a long way to creating a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.  Encourage your children to brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget about flossing too! Kids should begin to floss when their teeth start to get closer as more teeth fill their growing mouths.

If you have any questions about swollen or inflamed gums, please call Dr. Steiner’s Meridian Family Dental office immediately. Don’t put it off, even for a day. It could lead to more problems that you think!