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Healthier Gums, Healthier Heart

Healthier Gums, Healthier Heart

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Columbia University research  published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows healthy gums can reduce your risks of heart disease. Heart disease starts with plaque building up in your arteries, a process called atherosclerosis.  Good dental care can slow down this process. Professor and study author, Moise Desvarieux says that the study “results are important because atherosclerosis progressed with both clinical periodontal disease and bacterial profiles in the gums.” The study followed and observed 420 adults between 60-75 years old who had oral infections and heart disease.

Specific gum conditions that negatively relate to heart disease:

Gingivitis. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, you may notice redness of the gums or light bleeding after brushing or flossing. To reduce this, it is recommended to improve brushing technique and floss more often.

Periodontitis. Now the infections has gone deeper and the bacteria releases toxins that cause the tissue to swell, and if the problems is not taken care of it could eventually cause loss of bone and gum recession.

Cavities. Cavities are caused by a different bacteria than gum disease, but they can still be detrimental if there is a cavity that irritates the gums because that can lead to gingivitis.

Common symptoms of periodontal disease you should look for are:

1) red, swollen gums

2) bleeding after flossing or brushing

3) pain while chewing

4) loss of teeth

Many other conditions and bad dental habits can create problems and contribute to the atherosclerosis process. Although further research is necessary to understand the relationship, there is an abundance of evidence that relate these gum disease and heart disease.

Just one more reason to floss and brush daily, taking care of your gums today helps your heart and whole body stay healthy.