Traditionally the month for love and all things heart related, February also reminds us to take care of our heart!

The annual celebration began in 1963 to encourage Americans to join the battle against heart disease. A presidential proclamation pays tribute each year to researchers, physicians, public health professionals and volunteers for their tireless efforts in preventing, treating and researching heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease such as:

  • Watch your weight
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Get active and eat healthy
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Chances are you’ve heard many of the above recommendations before but the last one may be new to you.

How can seeing your Dentist lower your risk of developing heart disease?

They say the mouth is “a gateway to the body” and effective daily oral care can keep your mouth healthy and contribute to better overall wellness.  Evidence indicates a possible link between gun disease and many chronic illnesses, including heart disease. Gum diseases, like gingivitis and periodontitis, occur when harmful bacteria build up in your mouth leading to the deterioration of bone and tissue surrounding your teeth.  Clinical studies further suggest periodontal disease may permit bacteria to enter and spread throughout the body, potentially putting your heart’s health at risk.

The early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when you brush or floss, red/swollen/tender gums and persistent bad breath or bad taste.  If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dental professional and schedule an appointment to evaluate the situation and educate yourself regarding your options.

For more Heart Health suggestions, visit American Heart Association’s “Healthy Living” website. For exceptionally relaxing General & Cosmetic Dentistry in Beverly, MA visit Martins Dental Partners.