heart disease

American Heart Month: Heart Disease & Oral Health

Do you know what month it is? American Heart Month!

Every February is the time to raise awareness about heart health particularly heart disease. Did you know, “every year 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease” (healthfinder.gov)? And “nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Often, we might not show symptoms of high blood cholesterol, but heart disease can be prevented when deciding to alter our lifestyle and manage our health conditions that promote good health.

Steps to Better Our Heart Condition

As mention, to prevent heart disease we want to take measures to promote a healthy heart. Heart disease does not happen at a particular age, like most illness, they can affect anyone at any age. However, there are altering decisions we can make to better our heart to prevent heart disease.

  • Manage Health Conditions: as briefly mentioned, managing health conditions that can lead to heart conditions is crucial to avoid further complication to our heart and overall health. Conditions you want to manage are your blood cholesterol, although, it is necessary for our blood, we want to control it otherwise it can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Blood pressure is another condition you want to manage, like high blood pressure to avoid staining and to weaken your heart muscles from high blood pressure. Diabetes, known as a silent killer, is a condition that can often go unnoticed. High glucose levels in the blood can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

    heart disease
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  • Physical Activity: for those of us who hated p.e. class, we need the physical exercise. You want to do regular, moderate exercise. Physical activity reduces heart disease not to mention, reduce high blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and the plus of losing weight. If you don’t exercise, start off walking or doing an exercise for 30 minutes. It is both doable and allows you to divide the time into smaller segments throughout the day. You want to strengthen your muscles while also promoting a healthy heart.
  • Maintain Healthy Weight: you want to have a healthy weight to reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Maintaining a healthy weight takes commitment but is an excellent decision in the long run for your overall health. When we decide to have a healthy weight, we are referring to the long term weight maintenance that doesn’t involve dieting. To maintain a healthy weight, we have to alter our lifestyle that includes eating healthy and exercising.
  • Eating Foods Rich in Nutrient: as briefly stated, to have a healthy weight we need to make healthy eating choices. We want to provide our body with the nutritious foods it needs, and that can help you with your weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and overall heart health. Some of the changes you can make is limiting salt and sugar intake, eat healthy fats and limit alcohol intake. Find out which kinds of food below.  

Foods For Our Heart Health

The good thing about making foods is we can sometimes substitute ingredients with others for a healthier choice. Something we should do if we have preexisting conditions that can affect our heart health. So, what kinds of food should we look at eating? Let’s have a look.

  • Green Leafy Vegetables – There should be no surprise, most vegetables not just the ones that are green and leafy are rich in nutrients our body needs to improve cell function and to reduce heart diseases. There are many vegetables you can choose from and mix it up a bit.
  • Seafood and Fish – is an excellent source for a healthy protein since they contain omega-3 fatty acids which are known to be beneficial to the heart. Eating salmon, sardines, or tuna, and if you are not a fish person like me substitute it for fish oil.

    Heart disease
    Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash
  • Nuts – not only are they a good source for energy, they are good for fiber and replacing unhealthy fat choices. Try some almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnut, or pistachios.
  • Seeds – are another source of healthy fats you want to treat your body too since they contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Try some chia seeds or flaxseeds.  
  • Fruits – like vegetables they are rich in nutrients and natural sugars. The fruits you want to have for your heart health are berries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries which can help reduce the blood pressure. There are other fruits which can help with your heart health like a tomato and pomegranate.
  • Soy – an ideal food option for vegetarians and vegans, but it may not be for some. We get it, but soy contains less saturated fat.
  • Legumes – rich in protein and have no unhealthy fat it can reduce heart disease.

Like we said, healthy eating and to maintain a healthy weight takes commitment. We may look at the list above and get overwhelmed, I know I do at times, but the critical thing is to learn how we can better improve our lifestyle to live a healthy life which can help prevent further complications to my health. So what does this have to do with our dental health?

Heart Health and Dental Health

Our oral health can tell more about our overall health than we think because other health conditions can link to our dental health. According to Delta Dental, there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, although, it is unknown if one causes the other. There a high risk of having a heart attack when you are diagnosed with gum disease.

Those who have chronic stages of periodontal disease run the chance of having heart disease due to poor hygiene. The bacteria found in our mouth can enter our bloodstream which can cause infection to spread. Usually, inflammation in the gums is a sign of gingivitis which you want to visit the dentist to take preventative measures.

Keeping good oral hygiene is the best way to ensure your teeth remain clean and fresh until your next dental check-up. If you haven’t visited your dentist, make an appointment today by filling out our form or calling us at 801-747-8000

If you have medical conditions, tell your dentist about it so measures can be taken to ensure your safety and provide you with the best dental care.  

For information on heart disease and oral health connect, read this article published by Colgate.


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