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Gum disease and heart health

Studies show a connection between gum disease (periodontal disease) and heart disease.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissue supporting our teeth caused by plaque buildup. It can cause bleeding gums, chewing problems, and even tooth loss.

While the connection isn’t yet completely understood, people with gum disease are up to three times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event. One theory is that bacteria in the mouth can affect the heart by entering the bloodstream.

As research continues, use these dental care tips to avoid plaque buildup and lower your risk of both gum disease and heart disease:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Floss daily to remove plaque and leftover food from the spaces your brush can’t reach.
  3. Visit the dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning. Be honest with your dentist about gum disease symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums.
  4. Quit tobacco. Smoking is directly linked to gum disease and heart disease.

Visit Delta Dental of South Dakota's #SmilePower blog for more tips on oral health and dental benefits.