Live Longer by Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Many people are looking for ways to have a longer and healthier life…

…and the market is constantly coming out with new products and things for us to try in the hopes of achieving it.  What if there was an easy, inexpensive way that would only take an extra 4-6 minutes a day? This article is going to briefly cover the link between oral health and systemic (overall) health.

Gingivitis & Periodontitis

Have your gums ever bled while brushing or flossing? If you have bleeding gums, you likely have a form of gingivitis or periodontitis – both of which are clinical terms for gum infections and inflammation. Basically, the bleeding you see is a result of bacteria and food particles left in and around your gum tissue. Gingivitis is a milder form of periodontitis, but if left untreated long enough it can result in significant health issues.

Much research has been conducted on oral health, periodontitis and systemic health. The prevalence of gum disease is far broader than most people would expect. According to research published by the National Institute of Health, “Gingivitis affects 75% of adults in the United States and is characterized by inflammation of the gums, redness, swelling, and frequent bleeding.  More advanced forms of periodontitis are also prevalent, affecting approximately 30% (moderate disease) and 10% (advanced disease) of the adult population in the United States.” Gum disease not only leads to bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss and other oral conditions, but it has been proven to affect systemic arterial health.

Gum Disease & Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Research has found found that bacteria and inflammatory markers found in gum disease enter the blood stream through hundreds of capillaries in your mouth and enter your body’s circulatory system. At this point the bacteria that was living in plaque and between your teeth is now being pumped around your body and through your heart. This can cause an increase in blood pressure, stroke, risk of heart attack, cancer and other premature related deaths.
What You Can Do

What are some simple yet effective ways we can prevent heart disease?  By increasing your at home hygiene to brushing (2 minutes minimum) and flossing twice a day you can reduce your risk of gum disease.  Also staying committed to visiting your dentist twice a year allows them to provide professional help and direction for keeping your gums as healthy as possible.

Do you want to live longer and limit your risk of heart disease? It is within your reach to do so as long as your are diligent about maintaining good oral health.

More questions about how you can keep your mouth healthy? Call our office at (615) 377-6306 or send us a message!

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