Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s to A Healthy Heart
Candy hearts and flowers may be on your mind this Valentine’s Day, but don’t forget to keep your heart healthy. You can do that by eating right, exercising and yes, by brushing your teeth and flossing every day.
People with gum disease have nearly double the risk for heart disease as those with healthy gums, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how gum disease affects heart health. But they do know that bacteria from infected gums may enter the bloodstream and attach to fatty plaque in the heart’s blood vessels. The inflammation from gum disease also may increase plaque buildup.
The plaque thickens the walls of the arteries and results in restricted blood flow, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke. How do you prevent that?
First, learn the signs of gum disease:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums.
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing.
- Gums that pull away from the teeth.
- Loose or separating teeth.
- Persistent bad breath.
Although you can’t guarantee that you’ll never have a heart attack, regular brushing and flossing could help decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke. Most importantly, visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings. Only a dental professional can remove the tartar and plaque that you may miss. Learn more about the importance of oral health in keeping your heart healthy.
And be sure to brush and floss this Valentine’s Day. That’s a true gesture of love. (Though your partner may prefer flowers!)