Taylor Dental February 2019

Taylored to You

February 2019

6601 N. Davis Hwy Suite 8, Pensacola, FL 32504 • (850) 478-8005 • www.AndrewTaylorDental.com

The Connection Between a Healthy Mouth and a Healthy Heart

Heart and Gum Disease Awareness Month

before the bacteria colonizes the gums. From there, the bacteria releases toxins into the gums that then enter the bloodstream and spark the inflammatory response. When the inflammatory response is carried out, it can result in gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. Bleeding gums when you brush and floss are the telltale signs of this condition. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into gum disease. Researchers suspect that the same bacteria found in patients with gum disease is spread through the vascular system to the heart, causing a buildup of plaque that can potentially clog arteries and cause heart disease and stroke. Inflammation (the body’s way of handling infection) from the bacteria spreads throughout the body, causing a systemic effect that can result in serious health problems. To lower your risk of these diseases, preventive care is very important. Visiting us regularly is key to preventing, treating, and managing gum disease. Our staff is trained to look for the symptoms of gum disease, and we are your allies in prevention and treatment! When it’s diagnosed early, gum disease is treatable and the effects may even be reversible. We can help you find the right at-home care regimen that will prevent further damage. In addition to these preventative measures, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend staying active and eating well-balanced meals. Aim to get in at least 2 1/2 hours of exercise per week. Try small changes, like parking further away from your office, taking the stairs, and getting up from your desk for a break every hour to move. Take care of your teeth, come in for your regular visits, and take care of yourself. It’s not worth it to put your mouth, or your heart, at risk. This month brings to light what we’ve known for a long time: Your oral health is connected to your overall health. Take care of yourself and encourage your loved ones to do the same! We want you all to live happy and healthy lives. If you have any questions about gum disease, I’m happy to talk to you. We’re here to help you stay healthy.

I know a lot of people are thinking about love this month. What about loving your health and well-being? Along with being the month of Valentine’s Day, February is also Heart Health Month and Gum Disease Awareness Month. You may be surprised to learn that the two are connected. It’s estimated that over 200 million Americans are affected by gum disease and more than 85 million have some type of cardiovascular disease. If these numbers are to decrease, we all have to be aware of the risks and implement some strategies to minimize them. Recently, studies have shown that the link between heart disease and gum disease goes much deeper than a shared awareness month. As dentists, we often see evidence of the link between oral well-being and overall health, and more research is pointing toward a significant connection between gum disease and heart disease. Some studies have found that people who have periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. The reason for this link is still unclear, but scientists think bacteria may be the cause. From an oral health perspective, when plaque forms on the teeth, bacteria colonies grow within the plaque. It doesn’t take much accumulation

–Dr. Taylor

1 (850) 478-8005 • www.AndrewTaylorDental.com • Taylor Dental

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