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The Link Between Dental and Heart Health: Care for Both Inside and Out

When it comes to our well-being, oral and overall health are closely intertwined. As “the mouth is a window to the body,” the connection between dentistry and medical care deserves acknowledgment. Various studies continue revealing associations between periodontal (gum) disease and systemic conditions impacting quality of life like cardiovascular disease.

With cooperation between dental and medical providers, whole-body wellness can be prioritized starting from within.

Gum Disease & Heart Risks
Bacteria causing gum inflammation also enter the bloodstream. Over time, this constant low-level infection may increase inflammation throughout the body. Ongoing periodontitis has been directly linked to higher risks of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), stroke, and heart attack. Even those with no other risk factors can be impacted by poor oral hygiene left unattended.

Other Oral Conditions & Systemic Links
Tooth loss from untreated decay or periodontal disease correlates to malnutrition impacting general health. Ill-fitting dentures harboring bacteria can increase pneumonia risk in the elderly. Oral cancer screenings during hygiene visits also prevent diagnostic delays for overall cancer survival. Women with preeclampsia during pregnancy demonstrate greater periodontal inflammatory markers too—coordinated care matters.

Taking Oral Health Vital Signs
Similar to taking medical vitals, routine dental visits check issues impacting health from within. X-rays detect early gum disease below the gumline before symptoms arise. Probing tests bleeding levels and tooth attachment loss severity. Daily home care habits and other risk factors like smoking indicate prevention or treatment needs benefiting total wellness.

A Team Effort for Holistic Healing
Dentists refer patients with severe oral infections, uncontrolled diabetes, or heart issues to doctors for medical clearance before dental work. Doctors advise patients on optimizing dental hygiene regimens when managing conditions like atherosclerosis as well. Together providers monitor how oral inflammatory control through cleanings and deep cleanings improves systemic condition management over time.

At-home care is a Key
Vigilant plaque removal through proper brushing and flossing, plus getting professional cleanings at least twice yearly, are foundations for strong dental and medical health. For those struggling metabolically or whose immunity is compromised, enhanced home technique coaching and more frequent cleanings from dental professionals help eliminate oral microbes from multiplying systemically.

Balancing nutrition with limited sugars and acid beverages, quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, and managing stress levels also play a role. A healthcare team united for whole-body wellness ensures risks don’t develop or progress from the start – you are what you eat internally and externally!

While science continues revealing more connections between oral and total health each year, prevention begins with the simple daily choices supporting both. Seek regular maintenance from a dental hygienist, and don’t hesitate to discuss any oral symptoms or need for premedication clearance with your dentist and doctor. A little diligent maintenance truly goes a long way – from the inside out.

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