How Does Gum Disease in Rexburg Affect Your Heart?

How Does Gum Disease in Rexburg Affect Your Heart?

Posted by Dr. Bo Crofoot Aug 12,2019

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One night you remember to floss for the first time in a while. Your gums feel a little irritated, but you figure that’s only because it’s been a hot minute. Then you notice a pink spot on your floss. You rinse your mouth out to discover that your gums are bleeding! This is a sign of gum disease, a condition that has been linked to heart problems. How so? Let’s examine the connection between your heart and gum disease in Rexburg.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums. When you go without brushing or flossing for long enough, plaque can build up and harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar irritates the gums and causes them to become inflamed easily. When this inflammation is not treated early enough, bacteria can eventually attack the structures that keep your teeth anchored to your gums. Your teeth can then get loose and even fall out!

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

It’s important to let your dentist in Rexburg know if any of these symptoms sound familiar to you:

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth or bad breath that doesn’t subside
  • Loose teeth

How Is Gum Disease Linked to the Heart?

Inflammation is the key link between gum disease and the heart. Because your mouth is a warm, moist environment, it is home to lots of bacteria. When your gums are damaged, these bacteria can create pockets between the gums and teeth. They can use these pockets to enter your bloodstream and travel to other areas of your body, including your heart, and set off a chain reaction of inflammation. When your heart is inflamed, it significantly increases your risk of heart disease.

Another possible link has to do with health habits in general. Studies have shown that people with gum disease tend to make bad health choices such as smoking and keeping a poor diet. If someone doesn’t take care of their overall health, chances are their dental health isn’t too great either.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

To keep your gums and your heart healthy, follow these steps:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Gently brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes.
  • Floss once every day.
  • Avoid sugary snacks and beverages.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning.

You only get one heart and one set of adult teeth in your life. Make sure to follow these steps to take care of them both at the same time.

About the Author

Dr. Bo Crofoot earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Creighton University. He has more than 15 years of experience in the dental field, and currently works with Dr. Thomas Snarr at Cornerstone Family Dental in Rexburg, ID. To learn more about how to prevent and treat gum disease, contact Dr. Crofoot at (208)-356-4240.

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