Healthy-SmileA beautiful smile will give you confidence, but appearance isn’t the only reason you should keep your teeth healthy. For years, research has shown a significant connection between oral health and overall health. Houston dentist Dr. Deborah Gennero agrees that the oral-systemic connection  is a solid reason to prioritize oral health. If left unchecked, the bacteria in your mouth can lead to periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease. In fact, 80% of Americans have some level of this chronic condition. Studies show, gum disease increases the risk for developing a number of systemic health conditions.

Oral-Systemic Research

Since the likelihood of heart disease doubles in patients with periodontal disease, it is extremely important that we understand the relationship between our oral health and our hearts. In the past, dentists have suggested several theories to explain this connection. One theory dictates that oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth, attach to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries, and cause clots to form around the heart. These clots can lead to more serious conditions, such as heart attack or stroke. One specific example is lipopolysaccharides, which can enter the blood stream through the mouth and damage to the inner walls of human blood cells.

Poor oral health is the primary cause of gum disease, though medications and other environmental factors also cause gum disease. For most of us, the first step to deterring periodontal disease and the associated overall health risks involves daily oral care at home.

ADA Guidelines for Oral Home Care

Brushing and flossing twice a day are essential for fighting plaque before it has a chance to accumulate at the gum line and between teeth. Plaque left in the mouth for 48 hours calcifies into tartar, or calculus, an insoluble substance that should be removed by a dental hygienist. You should schedule a dental checkup every six months so that Dr. Gennero can monitor your oral health and address any concerns early, when minimally invasive treatment is most effective. Along with checkups, at six-month dental cleanings, our hygienist will evaluate your gum health, clean plaque and tartar from your teeth, and consult with you on how to maintain great oral health.

Put Your Health in Our Hands

Ready to take a step towards greater oral health? We offer a complete range of dental services, so contact Deborah Gennero, DDS, at (281)578-6200 today to schedule your first visit or six-month checkup and cleaning. Dr. Gennero serves patients in the greater Houston and Katy areas by providing exceptional dental care in a beautiful and relaxing environment.