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Mar 12

The Link between Dental Care and Heart Health

Knoxville - Dental Care and Heart Health

Posted on March 12, 2015 — by Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S.

Elderly man and woman with healthy, attractive teethMaintaining good oral health allows patients to keep the teeth and gums strong so that they function properly without any oral pain or difficulty. While this is reason enough to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit a dentist regularly, there is compelling evidence that oral health is directly linked to heart health. Dr. Thomas G. Zarger understands that this gives even greater weight to the need for high quality dental care. General dentistry services to prevent oral health complications and restorative dentistry care to treat dental problems can help patients maintain good oral health and lower their risk of heart disease. For these reasons, Dr. Zarger is eager to educate his Knoxville patients on the link between dental care and heart health so that they can start and maintain habits that will be in the best interest of their overall well-being.

How Are Oral Health and Heart Health Linked?

Many studies have been conducted to show the link between oral health and heart health. First, it has been shown that patients with poor oral health (specifically advanced stages of periodontal disease) are at an increased risk of heart disease and are more likely to suffer from a heart attack. Second, studies show that oral health can be a guide to a patient’s heart health. Many of the symptoms that a patient may experience as a result of gum disease (tender, swollen, bleeding gums) may actually be signs that a heart condition is present. Because of the relationship between oral health and heart health, dental care is a vital tool in protecting not only the teeth and gums, but also the heart. Good dental care can combat gum disease to lower a patient’s risk of heart disease, and can also give patients clues as to when heart health problems may be present, allowing them to seek advice from an experienced physician.

Why Are Oral Health and Heart Health Linked?

While the link between oral health and heart health has been proven, there is still some debate about why the two are linked. There are two primary theories on why periodontal disease increases a person’s risk for a heart attack. One theory is that the inflammation that is likely to occur as a result of gum disease can trigger the formation of blood clots. The second theory is that the high amount of bacteria that is present in those with gum disease can enter the blood stream and may also lead to the formation of blood clots. Whichever theory may be correct, it is easy to see that by treating (or preventing) periodontal disease through the practice of good oral hygiene habits and regular professional dental care, patients can avoid this increased risk of heart attack.

Schedule an Appointment

Professional dental care can help patients maintain strong teeth, good oral health, and a beautiful smile. Not only that, but good oral health will help to promote overall health and general well-being. For all of these reasons and more, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas G. Zarger at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!

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