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A Healthy Mouth for a Healthier Heart


Did you know that by taking good care of your oral health, you are also helping your heart?

There are increasingly more studies and evidence that shows a direct connection between oral health and overall health, particularly cardiovascular health. According to Harvard Health and Mayo Clinic, the main link between oral health and heart disease is the spread of bacteria and other germs from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. When these bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation or infections. Poor oral health may contribute to diseases and conditions such as:

  • Endocarditis - infection of the inner lining of your heart chamber or valves
  • Cardiovascular diseases – such as heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke; according to the Oral Health Group, those with periodontitis are more than twice as likely to suffer heart attacks compared to people with healthy gums.
  • Pregnancy and birth complications – periodontitis (gum disease) has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight
  • Pneumonia – certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases

Recognizing the Symptoms of Gum Disease

Regular visits to your dentist can help with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. You should also let your dentist know if you have any symptoms such as:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Tender gums that bleed easily
  • Pain with chewing
  • Highly sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or sunken teeth
  • Loose teeth or changes in bite

What You Can Do

There are many healthy lifestyle habits that you can use to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum and heart diseases.

  • Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day.
  • Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
  • Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about how Dr. Benedict and his team at Port Hope Dental can help you prevent gum disease, contact us today!

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105-249 Ontario Street, Port Hope, ON, L1A 3Y9
(905) 885-5303
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