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Can Gum Disease Lead to Heart Disease?

Taking care of your oral health is vital for your teeth and jaw, but new research shows that it could also be a great way to protect yourself against serious health issues, including heart disease. Research is still ongoing, but there appears to be an emerging pattern of links between periodontal gum disease and heart health.

Gingivitis, when bacteria build up in gaps between teeth and gums, and periodontitis, when these bacteria cause the surrounding tissues to swell and become infected, can result in receding gums and damage to the bone beneath. Studies show that those who experience this also experience higher rates of heart disease.

Look For Signs of Gum Disease

The research suggests that the best way to reduce your risk of more serious health complaints is to keep yourself healthy by keeping an eye on your gums. It’s important to seek advice from your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your mouth, especially when eating
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding or pus on the gums after flossing or brushing
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums

How to Prevent Gum Disease

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. It’s a standard recommendation but it’s truly vital to keeping your mouth and gums in good shape. Make sure you’re brushing effectively, and seek advice from your dentist if you are experiencing any bleeding or pain after or during brushing. You can book an appointment with a Dental Hygienist to learn more about how to brush your teeth correctly.

  • Floss daily. Flossing is very important in order to remove the tiny scraps of foods that can get trapped between teeth and cause a build-up of plaque and bacteria. Don’t floss too hard, as you may cut your gums, and if you are noticing bleeding or pain during or after flossing, it will be helpful to discuss this with your Dentist or Hygienist to learn how to floss more gently.

  • Eat well. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is the most important way to maintain your dental and overall health. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause problems when your body is unable to fight off infection or function at full strength, so you may wish to visit a nutritionist if you are experiencing ongoing difficulties with your gums.

  • See your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist every six months is usually adequate in order to maintain good oral hygiene. However, if you have any dental health problems, you may require more frequent check-ups and your dentist will advise you on this.

  • Avoid smoking. Smoking is considered to be one of the most significant risk factors for periodontal disease, so if you’re a smoker, it’s a good idea to get support to stop smoking. You’ll be improving your dental health and giving yourself a great general health boost, too!

Find a Great Family Dentist in Cork

Protect your mouth and gums by working with a great dentist who can help you to care for them. Visit the Guiney Dental Clinic in Ballincollig to meet our friendly, experienced team who will be happy to discuss your dental needs with you. Call today on 021-481 0535.


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