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It’s Heart Health Month! See your dentist!

It’s not only coincidental that Heart Health Month is the same month as Dental Health Month; as it turns out, poor oral health can translate to poor overall physical health. 

Periodontal disease is chronic inflammation and infection of the tooth supporting structures in your mouth (gums and bone). Periodontal disease is a predictor of cardiovascular health due to increased inflammatory compounds in the chronically diseased mouth that circulate throughout the entire body.1 Medications that are used to treat specific cardiovascular diagnoses can complicate oral health conditions as well. These medications can cause decreased saliva production, dry mouth, and dysbiosis. Check out this article from the American Heart Association about the connections between heart health and dental health.

A recent look at NHANES research data showed that dental health professionals are better predictors of the periodontal disease link to cardiovascular disease than a lay-person’s self-assessment.1 Improving your oral microbiota diversity by eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables and fiber is part of the equation for whole body health. And making an appointment with the dentist factors into that equation as well. When was your last dental exam?


1. Sumayin Ngamdu, K., Mallawaarachchi, I., Dunipace, E. A., Chuang, L. H., Jafri, S. H., Shah, N. R., Jeong, Y. N., Morrison, A. R., & Bhatt, D. L. (2022). Association Between Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Disease (from the NHANES). The American Journal of Cardiology, 178, 163–168.

This article was part of the February 2023 e-news FRESH Rx. Subscribe for similar content delivered to your inbox monthly.