February is National Heart Month and my Northeast Delta Dental teammates and I recently showed our support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign on “Go Red Day.” February is also National Pediatric Dental Health Month and the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation regularly supports the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile Day. This initiative involves local dentists who volunteer their time and services to educate and provide screenings and treatments to underserved children in the United States.
With hearts a common theme this time of year; I wish to remind you of the connection between oral and overall health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and researchers continue to find connections between periodontal (gum) disease and other chronic health conditions including heart disease. While the studies have yet to find direct cause and effect results, I suggest you give your heart a break this year and brush and floss regularly with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste with fluoride. High cholesterol and blood pressure along with smoking, diabetes, poor diet, and lack of exercise can also significantly increase your risk for heart disease. Take simple steps to increase your cardio, take the stairs instead of the elevator if you are able – or park farther away from the door to get extra walking in.