Guard against gum disease. It matters.

The Harvard Health Letter notes that proper care for teeth and gums may help lower your risk for developing heart disease. Inflammation from gum disease produces chemicals that get into the blood. Certain chemicals can increase inflammation in atherosclerosis plaques in the heart’s arteries and when those chemicals reach the heart, they can do damage. All of this contributes to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Take it to heart and care for your teeth and gums.

To prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease.

Source: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging