Medical professionals are returning to a more Pre-Cartesian way of practicing medicine: in a more holistic manner. That means they are paying closer attention to how issues in one area can affect other parts of the body. Such is the case with oral health. With this in mind, can dental negligence place you at a greater risk of developing heart problems? Your dentist in Temple provides the answer as you continue reading.
Blood – The Connecting Factor
The same blood that permeates your gums, travels throughout your body. Therefore, if you have an oral health condition that goes untreated, it can eventually spell disaster in other parts of your body. The primary nemeses to your dental health are oral bacteria, which are always present in your mouth. However, when there is debris left behind from the foods and beverages you consume, it becomes food for the microorganisms. This can cause them to grow at exponential rates, which can lead to plaque development.
How Plaque Buildup Contributes to Gum Disease
Plaque is a clear-sticky substance that forms when hundreds of different types of oral bacteria mix with your saliva. The substance can coat the teeth to cause cavities to form, but it doesn’t stop there. Over time, plaque can seep beneath the gum line to cause germ pockets to form. This is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease, which is the inflammation and irritation of the gum tissue.
If you notice any gum bleeding, lingering bad breath or foul taste in your mouth, it’s important to bring it to your dentist’s attention so you can be examined and receive the necessary treatment to rectify the issue. Otherwise, the bacteria will continue to travel, and the problems they cause could become far worse.
How Untreated Gum Disease Can Affect Your Heart
The plaque-filled blood that permeates your soft tissue when you have gum disease can travel to the heart to pose life-threatening challenges. If the plaque is allowed to accumulate in the arteries, it can lead to heart disease or cardiac arrest. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent such serious problems from arising.
The Power of Being Proactive
Here’s what you can do to boost your oral health and contribute to a more functional heart:
- Brush and floss at least two times a day to keep oral bacteria growth at bay.
- Drink water after eating to aid in ridding your mouth of any leftover debris.
- Monitor your consumption of sugar, as it’s the food of choice of oral bacteria.
- Don’t ignore any gum bleeding or the other warning signs of gum disease.
Additionally, make it a priority to visit your dentist every six months for preventive care, which will provide you with an examination and cleaning. By being consistent in monitoring and maintaining your oral health, you can be more confident that your heart will be strong and functional for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Richard Fossum earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. In addition to providing comprehensive care, he also stresses the importance of prevention to his patients. Dr. Fossum provides superb dental care at Fossum Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information through his website.