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      Beyond Smiles: How Your Teeth Impact Heart Health

      The interconnection of oral health and heart health has been a well-established fact in the dental community for many years.

      Beyond the realm of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, the focus has shifted towards evaluating the quality and lasting impact of dental treatments. Regular check-ups are crucial not only to ensure the well-being of teeth but also to monitor the potential consequences of previous treatments on biological integrity, particularly with regard to inflammation in the bone and bloodstream.

      One of the challenges lies in the fact that dental issues often manifest without causing noticeable pain, leading them to be easily overlooked during routine check-ups. The significance of this link between oral health and overall well-being is underscored in a recent article from the University of Alberta, dated February 22, 2023. The study delves into the correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease, shedding light on a substantial relationship between these two health conditions.

      Periodontal diseases, characterized by infections and inflammation of the gums, have gained recognition as an independent risk factor for heart disease, as acknowledged by the American Heart Association. The crux of the connection appears to revolve around inflammation, where periodontal disease contributes to an increase in systemic inflammation that may impact the heart. The potential migration of bacteria from the oral cavity to the heart is highlighted as a mechanism that can induce local inflammation, thereby triggering an immune response.

      Understanding and acknowledging this association between oral health, particularly periodontal disease, and heart health is imperative for comprehensive healthcare. Beyond the traditional focus on healthy teeth, the emphasis is now on preventing and managing oral inflammation, recognizing its role as a potential contributor to heart disease. Regular dental check-ups take on a heightened significance, serving not only as a means to maintain dental health but also as a proactive measure in safeguarding cardiovascular well-being.

      As research continues to unfold, the integration of dental care into the broader context of overall health becomes increasingly vital, reinforcing the adage that healthy teeth indeed contribute to a healthy heart.

      Author

      Maria Rosta is a patient-centered and motivated Canadian dental hygienist with many years of experience in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the UAE.