Did you know that periodontal disease could cause heart disease?

Does a healthy mouth equal a healthy heart? Could better brushing and flossing make the difference? The answer is yes.

Periodontal and gum disease are diseases of the supporting tissues of the teeth. They are primarily caused by plaque, a thin, sticky, film that adheres to the teeth and appliances such as dentures and orthodontic braces. The plaque causes inflammation and swelling of the gums. Over time, if the plaque is not brushed off it calcifies and hardens into tartar. Tartar can form above or below the gum releasing toxins from the bacteria leading to inflammation and bone resorption.

Key signs to watch for:

Red, swollen gums.

Bleeding gums.

Bad breath and taste.

Gum recession.

Teeth drifting apart.

Loose teeth.

How is periodontal disease related to heart disease? Inflammation is the key word.

Inflammation in the arteries leads to stiffer, narrower, blood vessels making blood flow more difficult. Some bacteria and toxins can escape into the bloodstream via the mouth which can go anywhere and trigger inflammation throughout the body. Periodontal disease can also contribute to diabetes, obesity, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.

The absence of gum disease may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Hence, it is so important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day and have a teeth cleaning twice a year. At Galway Dentists for new patients it offers a dental check-up and teeth cleaning including a treatment plan for €57 - valid until November 15 2016.

For more information visit http://www.galwaydentists.ie/teeth-cleaning/ or phone 091 582222 or visit www.galwaydentists.ie

Galway Dentists is located at 6 Fr Griffin Avenue, The Crescent, Salthill, Galway.

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