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Find Out How Your Oral Health is Connected to Your Heart Health


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and studies show a strong connection between oral health and heart health. February is American Heart Month and provides the opportunity for us at Karen Harriman DDS to shine a light on the importance of your oral health on your heart health.

How is Your Oral Health Connected with Your Heart Health?

People often focus on how their teeth look and forget about the health of their gums. Your gums (the soft tissue that supports your teeth) are of key importance to your overall health. If your gums are not healthy and intact, bacteria and other germs from your mouth can move around your body through your bloodstream and attach themselves to your heart and cause inflammation. Inflammation of your heart can lead to issues such as clogged arteries or an infection of the heart lining.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Understanding the warning signs of poor gum health is crucial to foresee problems before it’s too late. Gum disease can be recognized by the following signs:

  1. Red, swollen gums

  2. Sore to the touch gums

  3. Bleeding gums when you eat, brush, or floss

  4. Pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth

  5. Gaps between your teeth and gums

  6. A consistent bad taste in your mouth or frequently occurring bad breath

  7. Loose teeth

  8. Teeth that feel as if they are moving away from the other teeth

Dr. Harriman encourages her patients to visit her dental office in Falls Church at least twice a year for an exam and professional cleaning. At these appointments, early signs of gum disease can be detected and treatments and recommendations can be made to ensure gum disease is managed properly. She also recommends daily brushing and flossing to ensure great oral health.

If you notice any of the warning signs above, please call our Falls Church dental practice to make an appointment so our team can catch any issues before they get more serious.