It’s not uncommon for the month of February to be full of hearts — candy hearts, heart shaped boxes of chocolate, and a whole host of other gifts given in the name of love. At our Hagerstown dental office, we’re all for celebrating love, but this February, we’d like our patients to pay attention to a different kind of heart — the one inside you — and ways to keep it healthy.
Fast Facts on Heart Disease
February is recognized as Heart Health Month and is used to raise awareness of the seriousness and widespread occurrence of heart disease in America. Here are some important facts you should know about heart disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds
- Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event
- You can decrease your risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes
The Effect of Oral Health on Heart Health
Why should you take heart health advice from a dentist? Isn’t that what a cardiologist is for? Well, yes, a cardiologist is the best person to help diagnose and treat any heart problems you may have. However, your Hagerstown dentist can be a crucial part of your health care team.
In recent years, there have been numerous studies that show a clear link between gum health and heart health. In fact, gum disease doubles a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. But how?
Your gums are like a portal to your bloodstream. An infection in your gums means that the infection can easily enter your bloodstream. When there is infection in your blood, your body reacts. The liver begins to produce certain proteins such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and these proteins lead to all kinds of problems including:
- Inflamed arteries
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
How Can You Minimize Your Risk?
There are ways to decrease your chance of gum disease and the overall health concerns associated with it. Start with maintaining regular visits to our dental office in Hagerstown. In between appointments, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss everyday, and avoid tobacco products. Proper dental care can, in fact, save your life.
Accepting patients from Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Smithsburg and beyond.