Did you know there is a connection between the health of your mouth and your heart’s well-being?

So says North Central resident Dr. Alvin Matthews, a dentist and member of the Delta Dental of Arizona Board of Directors, which manages projects around North Central. Matthews said researchers have discovered that people with gum disease are roughly twice as likely to have coronary artery disease, which is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. One theory about the connection is that bacteria from diseased gums enter the bloodstream, and then once it is in the blood the bacteria might attach to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels. That can lead to clot formation, possibly causing a heart attack.

Gum disease is an infection in which a sticky film of bacteria called plaque forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. If treated in its early stages, gum disease, also called gingivitis, can be treated and often reversed, Matthews said.

He recommends everyone brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, but brush gently under the gum line around every tooth. Matthews also urges people to floss their teeth at least once a day and to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.




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