Friday, March 21, 2014

Dental Health and your Heart

What do your teeth and gums have to do with your heart? Possibly a lot. There appears to be a connection between gum disease and heart disease in people who suffer from both conditions. Although this is still a highly debatable issue among the medical profession, there are studies that show a correlation between these two conditions.

Inflammation is a common thread between the two diseases. Uncontrolled plaque (bacteria) build-up on your teeth leads to inflammation of the gums and eventually periodontal disease. Likewise, the accumulation of fat deposits in your arteries can lead to inflammation/clogging of the arteries causing heart attacks or strokes.

Bacteria may actually be the culprit. The bacteria found in plaque may find its way into your bloodstream, ultimately landing in the arteries and create problems there.

There is no solid evidence proving that poor dental health leads to cardiovascular disease. But taking control of your

health with daily proactive steps to live as healthy a life as possible only makes sense.

How to Avoid Heart Disease

  • Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Control high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
  • Stop smoking
How to Avoid Gum Disease
  • Brush your teeth and gums methodically for two minutes, twice a day
  • Floss once daily
  • Use antiseptic mouthwash daily
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings
  • Stop smoking
If you notice swelling in your gums or if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, visit your dentist to take control of your mouth health. It’s also worth a trip to your family doctor to see if you have any early signs of heart disease. The early symptoms of heart disease are often “silent,” so taking cues from other areas of your body or mouth may help prevent serious complications in the future.
Dr. Marilyn Kutzscher in San Francisco is a family doctor who can help identify early signs of heart disease. To schedule an appointment, contact her office at 415-923-3560 or

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