The Surprising Link to Heart Disease

heart health monthEven though it may seem that our cardiovascular health can’t have anything to do with our oral health, research has shown a surprising connection between the two. During this American Heart Health Month, our dental office in Wicker Park would like to do our part to help raise awareness of heart disease by sharing the link between oral health and heart health.

It Starts With The Gums

Your dentist in Wicker Park is concerned with much more than just your teeth. In fact, an area that gets a lot of attention at your bi-annual visits are your gums. Your gums can hold a lot of information about not only the health of your mouth, but can play a role in heart health too. If the gums are healthy, they’ll be pink in color and tight to the teeth. However, if these qualities aren’t observed, there’s a chance gum disease may be present. Gum disease is a serious infection that can progress to gingivitis or periodontitis, and can even cause tooth loss.

How Does Gum Disease Affect The Heart?

If gum disease isn’t treated, the infection can move into the bloodstream. When this happens, your body produces more C-reactive protein (CRP) than normal. Elevated levels of CRP can cause some serious cardiovascular issues including:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes   

Signs of Gum Disease

If you have any of the symptoms listed below, contact your Wicker Park dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Puffy, tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

How to Prevent Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease and protect your mouth and heart is to brush and floss every day. Make sure to also visit your dentist at least twice a year. It’s important to know that gum disease can be treated, and treatment is easier and more successful if caught early. That’s part of what makes seeing your dentist regularly so important.

If you’re overdue for a dental appointment, give our Wicker Park dental office a call today.

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(312)818-2441
Monica Urda, DDS
1755 W North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
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