February is American Heart Health Month. It is estimated that over 600,000 people die each year as the result of heart disease. However, 80 percent of heart disease cases can be prevented. Many people know that eating right and exercising are the keys to preventing heart disease.

However, many people do not know that oral health and heart health are linked. That is why it is important to take care of your teeth and gums.

What Is The Link Between Gum Disease And Heart Disease?

Poor oral health will inevitably lead to gum disease. Periodontists have debated about whether heart disease and gum disease  are linked and studies show that there is a correlation-both of these conditions are linked to inflammation.

Some studies also suggest that gum disease is a risk factor for heart disease. There was a study done by the National Health And Nutrition Survey. The study involved 50,000 people and results showed that people who had missing teeth were more likely to have a stroke. Missing teeth is often a result of poor oral health and conditions like gum disease.

Furthermore, researchers have found that people who have gum disease have higher levels of C-reactive protein. This is a protein that increases when there are high levels of inflammation in the body. C-reactive protein increases the risk of heart disease.

Caring For Your Teeth

While more studies need to be done to examine how oral health affects heart disease risk, it is undeniable that the two are linked. Brushing, flossing and eating healthy will help keep your heart and mouth healthy. You will also need to see your dentist at least every six months. You will get a thorough examination and cleaning, which will prevent tooth decay and gum disease.