A: Many people spend hundreds of dollars a year on gym memberships, cookbooks and vitamins to promote a healthy lifestyle. But many do not put their oral healthcare at the top of their priority list. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal (gum) disease are twice as likely to have heart disease as someone with a healthy mouth.
Those who have periodontal disease are at an increased risk of cavities, infections, tooth loss, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Regular checkups are essential to monitor your oral health.
What can affect my mouth?
Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, existing tooth decay, systemic diseases such as diabetes, tobacco use — smokers are five times more likely to develop gum disease, genetics, diet, habits (chewing on pens, fingernails, ice, etc.) and piercings.
Investing in a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss are inexpensive weapons to guard against heart attacks, strokes and other conditions. By practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for regular checkups, you can be proactive in improving your overall health.
Information provided by Dr. Christopher W. Blanchard, Blanchard Family Dentistry, 820 West Summit St., 462-4474.