Ensuring that you're maintaining a healthy and vibrant smile could actually help bolster your odds of long-term heart health and reduce your risk of complications. Here are a few things you can do:
1. Brush and floss to reduce the chance of infection
One of the primary concerns when it comes to your heart and oral health is infection. The mouth has more contact with bacteria and foreign materials than most parts of our bodies do. Considering its high exposure to outside objects, your mouth can become a high-bacteria zone.
According to oral products manufacturer Colgate, it's possible for bacteria from the mouth to travel throughout the bloodstream and reach vital organs. An infection in one of those organs, such as the heart, may result. This could cause cardiac problems both immediate and long-term, so be sure that you're regularly flossing, brushing, and gargling to reduce your oral bacteria levels.
2. Be aware of poor oral health warning signs
As is the case with many health problems, it's important to watch for warning signs of declining oral health.
According to dental coverage provider Delta Dental Insurance, these may include, but are not limited to, loose or separating teeth, chronic bad breath, or conditions like reddening or swelling of the gums or bleeding during activities like brushing and flossing.
If you notice any of these conditions, it may be time to go and see your dentist, physician, or both. Speak to them about your concern regarding how your oral health may be putting you at heightened risk for heart complications.
3. Consider treatments for existing oral issues
Any course of treatment pursued for your oral health will need to be considered alongside your existing medical regimens. If you're thinking about medical or surgical options to treat gum disease or other dental conditions, speak with your physician before beginning treatment. You will be able to learn whether the new treatment may interfere with other treatments you receive and reduce potential risk factors. Be sure to include your dentist in this conversation.