Recently, we looked at a couple of studies highlighting the association between missing teeth and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and death.
Why should missing teeth be predictive of these other conditions? In a word, disease.
Apart from accidents, disease in the teeth or gums is the main reason a person loses teeth. Oral infections may begin in the mouth, but as is progresses, it may have whole body effects.
This brings us to yet another study suggesting that gum disease sets the stage for heart attack.
Using exams and panoramic x-rays, scientists classified the level of gum tissue in more than 1600 participants: healthy, mild to moderate, or severe. Half had a history of heart attack. Half did not and served as the control group.
Overall, researchers found that gum disease was significantly more common in heart attack patients than healthy adults. Approximately 43% of heart attack patients had gum disease, while gum disease affected only 33% of healthy adults. After analysis, researchers found that individuals with gum disease were 49% more likely to have a heart attack than those without.
Such findings serve as a potent reminder that gum disease – like any other disease – should be taken seriously. It’s also preventable. And in its early stages, it’s reversible.
But even when it’s advanced – when gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis – there are things you can do to keep it in check. Manage these 8 dental details, and you’re on your way to healthy change:
- Develop and fine tune effective brushing and flossing skills.
- If you have failing restorations, get them repaired.
- Schedule – and keep – routine hygiene visits.
- Work on eliminating disease-fueling habits such as smoking and heavy drinking.
- Clean up your diet.
- Reduce stress.
- Try alternatives such as essential oils, supplements, oil pulling, and ozone therapy.
- Add movement to your life.
And remember: You don’t have to make all these changes at once! In fact, it’s better if you don’t. What’s most effective in the long run, is just that you begin. Begin right where you are, right now.
Your daily habits can help you get to the heart of things – before it’s too late.