Our orthodontist and team understand that taking care of your mouth is integral in caring for your body. Did you know that there is a connection between your oral health and the health of your heart? Some cardiovascular diseases can affect your dental health, and vice versa.
The Connection Between Your Heart & Oral Health
Studies have found that periodontal disease (gum disease) can affect your overall health, including the health of your heart. Those with advanced periodontal disease may have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, those with chronic gum disease may have increased thickness of the neck blood vessels. More research needs to be done before we fully understand the connection between the health of the heart and the health of the oral cavity.
How to Help Your Oral Health If You Have a Heart Condition
If you have any form of cardiovascular disease, it is imperative that you tell Dr. Frank Andolino and your regular dentist about your condition and what medications you are taking. Make sure that you update this list as needed and that your list includes both prescription and over-the-counter medicines like antacids. The list of medications should also include vitamins and other nutritional supplements. On your list, include the name of the drug, the dosage you are taking, and how often you take it.
Providing your dentist with this list allows him to compensate for any side effects that may affect your mouth. For instance, some medications can cause dry mouth, which in turn can cause bad breath and an increased risk for cavities and gum disease.
Signs & Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Although the full implications of the connection between the heart and dental health are yet to be understood, Andolino Orthodontics PC stresses the importance of improving and upholding your dental health. To care for your teeth and gums, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. In addition, schedule and keep regular cleaning appointments. These simple practices can help prevent periodontal disease. If you do develop gum disease, it is important that you seek treatment as soon as possible. Some common symptoms to watch out for include:
– Red, inflamed gums
– Gums that bleed easily, particularly when you brush and floss
– Persistent bad breath
– Gums that have receded, or pulled away, from your teeth
– Loose teeth
– A change in your bite
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, be sure to visit your general dentist as soon as you can. At the dentist, you can receive treatments like deep cleanings. A deep cleaning, which is also called scaling and root planing, has two main steps. First, the teeth are cleaned of plaque and tartar, above and below the gumline. The roots of the teeth are then smoothed (or planed). This allows the gum tissues to heal and to reconnect with the roots.
For more information, we invite you to contact our orthodontic office in New York, New York, at (212) 753 - 5575 today.