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A heart-healthy lifestyle includes knowing your body, managing stress, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating healthier and maintaining good oral health. We tend to think that heart attacks are all about intense chest pain, but that’s not always true.
Some may experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and left arm, back or jaw pain. And roughly one in five incidents are “silent” heart attacks, causing damage to the heart muscle without recognizable symptoms to the person suffering the attack. Knowing the warning signs can save one’s life. Here are examples of how to keep your heart healthier.
Get enough sleep. Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night raise their risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Why? In part, because when you are sleeping, your blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time.
Manage stress. When you’re stressed, your brain encourages the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. \Being stressed about things you cannot fight or flee from leaves you with an overabundance of adrenaline in your system, which can lead to high blood pressure. Stress can also lead to headaches, upset stomach, heartburn, sore throats and teeth grinding.
Exercise. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, your heart muscle doesn’t have to work as forcefully to pump blood through your body. Like other muscles, your heart becomes stronger with regular physical activity.
Research indicates that people with periodontal disease, gum infection and tooth decay may have a higher risk of having a heart attack and stroke—in some cases even dying from it. It has shown a link between oral and cardiac disease. The link may get established by bacteria from infected gums traveling throughout the body. Cardiac disease may also be caused by the body’s immune response (inflammation) to chronic gum disease. Lastly, cardiac disease may also be connected to unhealthy habits such as smoking, poor food choices and skipping preventive care visits that result in widespread damage to the body.
Improve your oral health by consistently maintaining a good dental hygiene routine as well as brushing your teeth for two minutes with an electric toothbrush, at least twice a day, and flossing daily. Follow your dentist’s guidance on what you should do to take care of your teeth and gums. Also, get regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months or more as needed.
E Dental Solutions, in Tucson, has a mission to build a partnership to achieve optimal dental health. With state-of-the-art technology, attention to clients’ needs and commitment to continuing education, E Dental ensures that clients receive the highest quality care, in a safe and comfortable environment. Connect at 520-745-5496 or EDentalSolutions.net. See ad, back cover.