That’s right, and February is not only Heart Health Month but Gum Disease Awareness Month. Your gums are a big part of your oral health and studies are finding more and more links between the health of your gums and your heart. Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.
So, what is periodontal disease and how I can stop it? Well, it can range from simple inflammation of the gums to serious disease that, in worst case scenarios, can result in losing teeth. However, the signs of periodontal disease can be seen early and are very treatable.
Symptoms of poor oral health?
- Bad Breath (more than just morning breath)
- Bleeding or Inflamed Gums
- Sensitivity of your gums or teeth
If you are experiencing any of these, you should see your dentist right away and make sure that a periodontal exam is completed to check in on the health of your gums.
Take Away: What can you do to improve your oral health?
- Use dental products that contain fluoride and use them the recommended amount of times: Brush for TWO minutes, TWO times per day AND floss ONCE per day.
- Watch your eating habits. Try to limit snacks between meals and make sure that you are eating teeth-friendly foods! Crunchy fruits and veggies, nuts and cheeses are all good for your teeth. And don’t forget to wash every meal and snack down with water!
- Practice Oral Health Maintenance: See your dentist TWO times per year to check in with them and make sure your dental health is looking good.
Through a few simple steps at home and by visiting your dentist regularly, you can make sure your oral health is where it should be. The icing on the cake is that by taking care of your teeth and gums, you are also caring for your heart. So, show a little love this month and … take care of your gums and heart!