Wellness

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Your heart and your mouth: more connected than you know

When it comes to the connection between your head and your heart, look no further than your mouth.

Numerous studies show a link between poor oral health and an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, people with periodontal (gum) disease are almost 50% more likely to have a heart attack.1

Scientific evidence hasn’t yet proven a cause-effect relationship. That means there’s no conclusive proof that neglecting your oral health will lead to heart disease or that treating gum disease will reduce your risk of heart disease.

However, we know that both diseases are prevalent across our nation.

More than 80% of American adults have some form of gum disease.2

When your mouth isn’t cleaned properly, bacteria causes a sticky buildup (also known as plaque) on teeth and infects surrounding tissues. This leads gums to become red, swollen and tender. Many people don’t even realize they have gum disease.

1 in 4 U.S. deaths stem from heart disease.3

Heart disease is the nation’s leading cause of death. It involves narrowing or blocking of blood vessels, which can lead to chest pain, a heart attack or stroke. While some dental plans offer expanded coverage (such as additional cleanings) for people with this condition, heart disease is mostly preventable with healthy choices such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking and limited alcohol use.

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Bacteria and inflammation is a link between gum disease and heart disease. Poor oral health heightens the risk of bacterial infection. Bacteria and toxins from your mouth can spread to your heart and the rest of your body through the blood stream and may contribute to inflammation in your blood vessels. Research also shows that gum disease and heart disease share risk factors such as smoking.

Whether or not there’s a direct link between the health of your mouth and your heart, why take a chance? By protecting yourself against gum disease and tooth decay, and avoiding smoking, you can also take care of your heart.

Unleash your smile power! Over 65 years of national experience. Learn more. Unleash your smile power! Over 65 years of national experience. Learn more. Unleash your smile power! Over 65 years of national experience. Learn more.