February is the month of hearts. Candy hearts, chocolate hearts, flower hearts, and yes, even our actual hearts. In fact, February is American Heart Health Month, a time when health professionals come together to raise awareness of heart disease and talk about some habits to change to reduce the risk. Even though it may seem as if your dentist in Charlottesville has nothing to do with heart health, research has shown a surprising connection between the two.
An often overlooked part of overall oral health is the gums. But these soft tissues play a crucial role in overall oral health, and it’s important to keep them healthy. All too often, patients develop an infection in the gums called gum disease. It’s estimated that over 50% of Americans 30 and older have some form of this disease. Usually caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease is a serious infection that requires early diagnosis and treatment in order to be reversible.
Gum disease develops when plaque isn’t removed from teeth. This plaque will start to harden into tartar, and once this happens, you won’t be able to remove the tartar by simply brushing your teeth at home. In fact, your dentist in Charlottesville or your dental hygienist is the only one who can remove tartar. Besides that, tartar is loaded with bacteria. What happens when you leave bacteria alone? They multiply and begin to cause an infection. In this case, they cause gum disease.
There are four stages of gum disease:
How Does Gum Disease Affect The Heart?
When gum disease is allowed to progress into the third or fourth stages, the bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream. When this happens, your body produces more C-reactive protein (CRP) than normal. Elevated levels of CRP can cause some serious cardiovascular issues including:
Gum Disease Symptoms
It’s important to catch gum disease early when treatment is often more successful and before it can affect the heart, so it’s important to know the symptoms. Some common signs of gum disease include:
If you notice any of the symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your Charlottesville dentist as soon as you can.
Prevent Gum Disease
This month, and every month, make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your gums and, in turn, protect your heart. Brush and floss every day, see your dentist in Charlottesville at least twice a year, eat a healthy diet, and don’t use tobacco products.
Current Patients: 434-977-3939
New Patients: 855-599-5581
Read what our happy patients
We’ll answer any
questions you have.
Dr. Kayton and all of his wonderful staff are friendly, professional, and competent. I’ve sent friends and family to them for years.
Great, pain-free dentistry, and a wonderful group of people! My teeth and gums are in better shape than they were when I was far younger, thanks to the great teamwork of Dr. Kayton and his outstanding dental technicians! Two thumbs up!
Excellent visit as always!
Dr. Kayton and his team took good care of me and did a great job. I have my beautiful smile back!
What a great experience. It’s always difficult to find a good dentist when you move to a new area. I look forward to my next visit.
Prompt, congenial, well organized, professional, and patient friendly.
Dr. Kayton and his staff are professional, friendly, and caring people. Every experience with them has been superb. I highly recommend this practice.
I completely trusted Dr. Kayton. He offers the highest tech equipment, has the nicest staff and takes the time to make sure you understand his evaluation.
Painless dentistry. Dedicated and compassionate staff. Efficient. The most complicated dental work I have had has been done here; also the most pleasant and painless.