Dentistry and medicine are often placed in different categories: dentists operate in different facilities, dental insurance is separate from health insurance, and we even have a sort of psychological disconnect between the two.
At Really Smile Dentistry we want to break that wall down so that our patients understand the connection between bodily and oral health. Your mouth is no less a part of your body than your fingers, ears, eyes, and skin! In fact, studies show that oral health is closely linked to a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular conditions!
You Mouth And Your Heart: The Connection
You’ve probably heard of gingivitis and gum disease: after all, those words are on almost every dental product you can buy in today’s world. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and both are serious conditions with potentially devastating effects on oral health.
You’re probably wondering what the connection between gum disease and cardiovascular health is, and it’s actually pretty simple. Gum disease, at its core, is a disease of inflammation. When bacteria gets underneath your gums and spreads out of control your body reacts like it does when fighting any other kind of infection: inflammation.
Unfortunately for your gums inflammation isn’t enough to fight off oral bacteria and your gums become more inflamed and unhealthy as time goes on. Here’s where the link between your gums and heart is: inflammation.
Just like gum disease involves inflammation of the gums, cardiovascular conditions are overwhelmingly caused by inflammation of the heart, veins, and arteries. Multiple studies have found that patients who suffer from gum disease are much more likely to end up with heart conditions as well.
Fighting The Good Fight: Protecting Your Mouth And Heart
While it’s still debated how closely the two are connected, our Indianapolis dental team has a pretty universal opinion on the topic: why wait and see what goes wrong when you can potentially prevent harm with preventive dental care?
Preventing gum disease is often as easy as understanding what causes it. While there are certain things that can predispose you to developing gum disease, like genetics, medications, and illnesses you may have, there’s no reason you have to develop gum disease. It’s almost completely preventable!
There is bacteria in everyone’s mouths: it’s just a fact of life. Some of that bacteria is harmful and some of it is just there. The harmful stuff is what causes cavities and gum disease, which is why it’s so important to have a clean mouth.
Oral bacteria exists as plaque: that sticky white stuff that forms on your teeth. Left alone it can build and build, greatly increasing your chances of oral health complications. The best thing you can do at home is brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and floss in the evening. Make sure to floss between all of your teeth: that’s one of the prime hiding places for oral bacteria!
Another crucial part of avoiding gum disease is regular checkups at our Indianapolis dentist office. By seeing us twice a year for cleanings and exams you can ensure your teeth stay healthy and we catch any problems before they become serious. You don’t want to come in after a long absence to find out you’re going to need a lot of expensive care!
At the early stages of gingivitis we can usually reverse damage and eliminate the infection with a deep cleaning that goes between your gums and teeth. This procedure is routine and generally performed in a single visit. Before you know it you’ll be in great health again!
More severe cases of gum disease can require serious treatments, including gum reconstruction and even tooth replacement. Advanced gum disease generally comes with tooth loss. Don’t let that happen to you when it’s so easily prevented!
Save Your Smile And Your Heart: See Us!
You can prevent gum disease with good home care habits and regular appointments at Really Smile Dentistry. We would love to see you at our Indianapolis office as soon as possible so that we can identify, treat, and prevent the spread of gum disease and the health complications that come with it.
Don’t wait to see what happens to your smile: call us today at 317-451-4050 or request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!