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These Oral Health Symptoms Can Mean An Increased Risk of Heart Attack

added on: February 7, 2022

Heart disease is a topic of concern for both your doctor and your dentist in McMinnville. After all, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the leading cause of death all around the globe. But what exactly does your oral health have to do with your heart health, and what does dental care have to do with lowering your risk of a heart attack? Well, in fact, there are oral health symptoms that can indicate an increased risk for a heart attack. 

Bleeding Gums

There are several reasons why your gums may bleed. For example, if you’re just starting a flossing habit, your gums may bleed when you floss for a little while, but this should go away. Pregnant women may also experience bleeding gums if they develop pregnancy gingivitis, however, this should also go away on its own. But if your gums bleed every time you brush or floss you should talk to your dentist in McMinnville. Bleeding gums are one of the tell-tale signs of gum disease. 

Gum Disease

Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection that primarily affects your gums and bone support around your teeth. It’s a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Gum disease can be treated if caught in the early stages, but if it progresses, treatment can become difficult and it can affect other areas of the body, such as your heart. In fact, research published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2021 showcased active gum disease as an early warning sign of a heart attack. The researchers found that inflammation in the gums can also cause inflammation in the arteries, which is one of the main risks of a heart attack.  

Other Signs of Gum Disease

Bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease, but there are other signs to be aware of such as: 

  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Puffy gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Changes in your bite or spaces between teeth

If you notice any of these signs, contact your dentist in McMinnville to schedule an appointment

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is to follow a good oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year. There are also some lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk of gum disease. The most important one is tobacco use. If you use tobacco, work on quitting. This is a top contributor to gum disease and other health problems. 

It’s just as important to take good care of your oral health as it is to take care of your whole-body health. After all, everything is connected and we know that oral health conditions can affect more than the mouth. If you have questions about gum disease or how oral health can contribute to overall health, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today.