February Is Heart Health Month – What Does The Dentist Have To Do With That?

FEBRUARY IS A SIGNIFICANT MONTH FOR THE HEART – we celebrate it as a symbol of love on Valentines Day AND it is American Heart Month!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about its prevention. Many deaths from heart attacks could have been prevented through healthier habits and better management of diseases like high blood pressure and Diabetes.

Take It One Step at a Time.
You can control many risk factors for heart disease, including:

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol 
  • Diabetes

So, how is heart disease related to your mouth?
Several studies exist to explain the link between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease.
1. Oral bacteria can affect the heart via the blood stream. They attach to fatty plaques in the heart blood vessels and add to clot formation.
2. Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by gum disease increases plaque buildup, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries.

Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.

Unfortunately, 80% of people have Gum Disease and DO NOT KNOW IT! There is usually no pain until very late in the disease process when the teeth become loose. However, gum disease is a very treatable condition and can be prevented.

Call your dentist this month of February and have him or her evaluate the health of your gums. If you have gum disease, your dentist can put you on the right path back to health!


Dr. Charmaine Johnson
Premier Smile Center