February is not only the month of love but also a time to focus on matters of the heart—literally. As we celebrate Heart Health Month, it’s crucial to recognize the connection between oral health and cardiovascular well-being. At Frankel Dentistry, we believe that a healthy smile goes beyond just a beautiful set of teeth—it is linked to the overall health of your heart.

The Mouth as the Gateway to the Body

Our mouths serve as the gateway to the rest of our body, and maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being. The oral cavity is teeming with bacteria, both good and bad. While most of these microorganisms are harmless, some can lead to oral infections and diseases if not properly managed.

Poor oral hygiene can result in the accumulation of plaque on teeth and gums. If left untreated, this plaque can progress into more severe conditions such as gum disease, which may allow harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

The Oral-Systemic Connection

Recent research has shed light on the relationship between oral health and cardiovascular disease. The link between gum disease (periodontitis) and heart disease has become increasingly evident. Individuals with periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of developing heart conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and even heart attacks.

When the gums are inflamed due to infection, bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, leading to systemic inflammation. This inflammation can contribute to the development and progression of cardiovascular issues. Additionally, the bacteria may attach to fatty plaques in the blood vessels, promoting the formation of blood clots that can obstruct normal blood flow.

Poster for Heart Health Gum Disease

Bad Bacteria’s Journey through the Bloodstream

The bloodstream acts as a highway, transporting nutrients, oxygen, and waste products throughout the body. Unfortunately, it also provides a pathway for harmful bacteria to travel from the oral cavity to other organs, including the heart.

Research suggests that the presence of oral bacteria in the bloodstream may contribute to the formation of arterial plaques. These plaques can rupture, triggering blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

So, what can you do to safeguard both your heart and oral health?

  1. Prioritize Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings.
  2. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Adopt heart-healthy habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products.
  3. Regular Dental Check-Ups: Schedule regular dental exams to catch and address any oral health issues before they escalate.
  4. Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: Stay consistent and regular with medical visits. Annual check ups with a primary care, cardiologist, and dentist can help you care significantly for your overall well being. If you have existing cardiovascular conditions, communicate openly with both your dentist and cardiologist to ensure comprehensive care.

At Frankel Dentistry, we understand the vital connection between oral health and overall well-being. This Heart Health Month, take a proactive approach to care for your heart by nurturing a healthy smile. Remember, your oral health is not only a reflection of a beautiful smile but also a key player in your cardiovascular wellness. Together, let’s prioritize heart health and the well-being of your entire body. Due for a dental visit? Call today or visit us online to schedule!

Toledo: 419-474-9611

5012 Talmadge Rd. Toledo, Ohio

Maumee: 419-893-0221

4359 Keystone Dr. Maumee, Ohio

February is heart health month