Oral health, specifically your gum health, can have a huge impact on overall health. The gums set the foundation for all other aspects of your oral health, and keeping gums healthy is something that many struggle with. According to Colgate, over 80% of American adults have signs on periodontal disease and studies show that there is a link between poor gum care and heart disease. This is an important discovery, considering the fact that heart disease is one of the top causes of death in the United States.

Patients often wonder how the state of their gums affects something in a completely different part of their body, but the answer is simple: bacteria. The bacteria that cause plaque and cavities can make its way to other parts of the body. In the case of the heart, scientists believe that the bacteria in the mouth make their way into the bloodstream (your gums are filled with blood vessels) and thus block blood vessels leading to the heart.

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, but this is a matter of how many malignant bacteria are hanging out in there. Malignant, or harmful, bacteria lead to periodontal disease.

Prevention is dependent upon routine. Make it a habit to brush your teeth for two minutes every morning and every evening. Make it a priority to floss once daily. Never miss a dental checkup. If you already have a heart condition, this is even more essential.

To check for signs of periodontal disease yourself, look for swollen or bleeding gums. If you notice these symptoms, ramp up your oral care routine. If you notice small pockets between the tooth and the gum, call your dentist. If you’re unsure about any of these warning signs, call Arvada Dental Center at 303.421.7611. Dr. Bennett offers an array of periodontal services to get you back to your best self.