February is National Heart Health Month

February is National Heart Heath Month

We all know that our heart is the most important organ in our body. It pumps our blood via arteries and veins to all our other organs. Quite frankly, without it, we’d die.  So, we need to take extra special care of it to make sure that it functions as well as it possibly can, because a heart that is suffering from disease and doesn’t work properly can lead to other illnesses which can be equally as fatal as a heart that just stops pumping.

There are many things we can all do to help keep our hearts healthy and one of the best things we can do on a regular basis, is visit our dentist for our 6 monthly check-ups. For the laziest of us, this is probably the easiest as it requires little effort. In fact, you even get to sit or lay down for an hour or so and put your feet up while the dentist and hygienist go about their work.

Why are dental check-ups one of the easiest things we can do? Well, many of us may in fact see our dentist more often than we do our doctor.  And, since oral health can show signs of other things going on in our bodies, our dentist may well see something of importance before we even realize there is something wrong. For example, people who have some form of Periodontal (gum) disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease. One study has shown that gum disease, cavities and missing teeth are as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.

So, never mind those facts that our oral health can also be linked to respiratory diseases, arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease and pre-term, low weight babies; we need to keep up to date with our oral check-ups not only to keep our teeth and gums healthy, but to allow for those all important early warnings of possible heart disease or strokes.