heart health

February is just around the corner - and as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it’s also American Heart Month. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women.

Caring for your teeth helps protect your heart.

Numerous studies have shown a connection between the health of a person’s teeth and their heart. If plaque isn’t removed from teeth regularly, it can enter the bloodstream and make its way to the heart, adding to the plaque in the arteries and contributing to heart disease.

Can gum disease cause other diseases, too?

Several studies show correlations between gum disease and diseases such as diabetes and even cancer. It seems that the bacteria in oral plaque can worsen some conditions in other parts of the body and cause inflammation that may lead to cancer. For example:

• A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with a certain type of oral bacterium were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people without the bacterium.

• Studies of pregnant women found that those with gum disease had more premature births than those without gum disease.

• People with gum disease who also had diabetes or other chronic conditions had more hospitalizations than people with the same conditions without gum disease.

Brushing, flossing and regular checkups and cleanings help to prevent gum disease and remove plaque buildup. Contact Del Norte Dental Associates for an appointment at 520-625-7224.

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