See a Complete Health Dentist for Hypertension
You may not think of your complete health dentist as someone who can help with cardiovascular issues. However, there is a link between periodontal health and a properly functioning heart. If you have gingivitis or more developed gum disease (periodontitis), you could be at risk of high blood pressure. The good news is that along with your family doctor, your dentist can help you get control of your oral wellness and positively affect your cardiovascular system.
How periodontal health and heart disease are related
Many factors can contribute to hypertension. Some issues include a lack of exercise, obesity, and a diet high in fat and cholesterol. It may surprise some people to learn that gum disease can also be a factor. Bacteria on teeth and gums can cause periodontitis, or gum disease. This can lead to tooth loss. If the bacteria are unchecked, it can spread throughout the mouth and into other parts of the body, including the bloodstream.
Causes of gum disease
A person with healthy gums will floss regularly and stay current with dental exams. The gums should be firm and pink. If a patient’s gums are inflamed and red, there is a good chance that gum disease is present. The gums may also bleed during brushing or flossing. People who do not brush and floss consistently have a higher chance of developing gum disease. A sugary diet can also leave more bacteria and eventual tartar buildup on the teeth.
Examination from the complete health dentist
Patients should visit their dentist at least twice a year for a wellness checkup. In between these appointments, people can come in more regularly if they have tooth pain or concerns about their gums. During the exam, the dentist can identify gum disease by the way they look, including whether the gums are pulling away from the teeth. This exam helps the dentist see how serious the person’s periodontal issues are.
Fortunately, there are ways to reverse the effects of gum disease and improve a patient’s blood pressure. The dentist will first show the patient how to properly floss and will emphasize the importance of this daily habit. Scaling and planing are the most common ways to treat periodontitis. This involves a deep cleaning of the teeth where the complete health dentist scrapes away plaque from below the gumline.
Keeping an eye on the heart
A complete health dentist will also take the patient’s blood pressure during a wellness checkup. The patient may also give details about recent health problems, including high blood pressure symptoms. As gum disease treatment occurs, the dentist will evaluate how it positively impacts the patient’s heart health. If there are no improvements, the dentist may refer the patient to a general physician or a cardiologist.
Flossing is more critical than you may realize
Taking good care of your gums is not something to take lightly. It can literally save your life. Lessening your chances of having a heart attack or stroke can begin by caring for your periodontal health. Make an appointment today with your complete health dentist if you are worried about your gums.
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