Here at Honour Health, we see the mouth as being a window to the body. For instance, we know that issues such as gum disease are not only confined to the mouth, but can upset the whole body’s defence system, causing problems in several areas – such as the heart.
A key sign of gum disease is red, tender gums. The first stage is gingivitis, which can then develop into periodontitis – affecting the tissues that hold your teeth in place.
How does gum disease affect the heart?
The British Heart Foundation have released a really useful video to show why brushing your teeth can help your cardiovascular system, and provides answers to some common questions about oral health and heart conditions.
Gum disease causes gaps to form in the teeth, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can then attach to areas such as arteries in the heart and valves, causing inflammation. After some time, this could cause damage to blood vessels, and could lead to – or worsen – coronary heart disease.
How can gum disease be stopped in its tracks?
To help prevent gum disease:
- Cut down on sugary foods and drinks
- See your dentist regularly. At Honour Health, we offer comprehensive Dental Health Assessments to help keep your mouth healthy
- See your therapist regularly, for a thorough clean. We provide a state of the art hygiene treatment called Honour Diamond Airflow, which is a more comfortable, deeper reaching treatment than a manual scale and polish alone
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, twice a day, and brush your tongue too
- Don’t rinse with water straight after brushing, as this gets rid of the remaining fluoride, reducing its effects
- Floss daily to help remove hard-to-reach plaque
- Use fluoride mouthwash at a different time of day to when you brush your teeth
Every time you visit Honour Health, we ask you if there have been any changes to your medical history since your last visit. It is essential that we keep your details up to date so that we can provide you with the best possible care. With this in mind, if you have a heart condition, it is so important that you tell your dentist about it.
Find out more about the links between oral health and heart health here: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/medical/oral-health