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Heart & Gums

heart & gums

February is a heart month.

The heart is a muscle pumping blood through the lungs to the rest of the body, oxygenating it, giving it energy.

Make a fist and look at it. That’s the size of an average heart.

It works hard. Super hard actually. It pumps over 7500 litres of blood and beats 115,000 times per day.

Did you know, the heart actually continues to beat after it is disconnected from the body?

Heart disease could be a heart attack, stroke, narrowing and or blockage of blood vessels by biofilm also knows as plaque.

It is important to take care of our beautiful heart by giving it plenty of cardio exercise, proper diet, relaxation. Limiting stressors is key to reducing inflammation.

Key stressors to our heart health is subpar Oral health.

Is the mouth the root of all evil?

Gum disease is explained as the inflammation of soft tissue where, over time, destruction of bone, gums, ligaments around the tooth occurs (Click on gum disease to read more.)

Unfortunately for our heart health, the mouth is not a bubble. What goes on in the mouth moves along to the rest of the body.

Gum disease increases a person’s risk of heart disease 2-3x. Peeps with gum disease have a higher risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular events. 17.9 million died in 2019 from cardiovascular diseases. 85% of that was due to heart attack and stroke.

Did you know teeth cleaning is a treatment for gum disease?

Gum disease is a silent disease. It slowly poisons the body including the heart. It is this low grade chronic inflammation that puts the heart at risk. P.gingivalis, gum disease bacteria, hitchhikes on leukocytes in the bloody gums and travels to the rest of the body.

Usually, gum disease is left untreated for years (7 out of 10 Canadians have it). The longer gum disease is present in the mouth, the more harmful and undesirable the bacteria become. It is this chronic bio-burden that may affect the heart by possibly hardening the arteries (artherosclerosis). This hardening makes it more difficult for blood to travel, therefore, increasing the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Please book your regular teeth cleaning to prevent and arrest gum disease.

Although the mechanism of how gum disease affects the heart is still unclear, it is imperative to take care of one’s oral health to reduce the risk like using antiseptic mouthwashes and toothpaste and having regular teeth cleaning. Proper home care is imperative.

Always floss and brush. This is a standard for maintenance of the mouth health. If your gums feel enlarged, tender, inflamed, rinsing with an antimicrobial agent before you start your home care routine, prevents the germs from spreading. This pre-rinse decreases the number of microbes entering the bloodstream. At Floss Bosses, we recommend Opti-Rinse by Oral Science (our Edmonton patients enjoy special pricing on these products).

It is especially important for someone that has Covid, cold or flu and / or has experienced heart issues or stroke.

If your gums have been bleeding for extended period of time, do see your dental hygienist for teeth cleaning. Never leave bleeding gums unattended.

“My gums always bleed” is not okay. See your dental hygienist or dentist to treat it (Check out Dreaded Tooth Cleaning and Food Stuck In Between My Teeth After Teeth Cleaning for more info on non-surgical treatment of gum disease AKA teeth cleaning.)