February is Heart Health Month!

For several years, a correlation between gum disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes and arthritis have been observed. The relationship between these diseases, however, has not been known. Does having gum disease predispose someone to heart disease, or do some bad genes that predispose someone to inflammation cause both?
This past year, researchers at the University of Toronto demonstrated how periodontal disease contributes to heart disease. In simple terms, the bacteria present in chronic dental infection ‘primes’ someone’s immune system to create an exaggerated, hyperactive immune response in other areas of the body. This inflammation is now known to increase the risk of other chronic diseases.
Cardiac specialist Dr. Amy Doneen of The Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center in Spokane, Washington discusses the importance of good oral health in your overall health in this PBS video: https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3038706894/.
What can you do to celebrate Heart Health Month? Take a walk. Floss your teeth. Ask us to check your blood pressure next time you’re in the office. We care about more than just your teeth!

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