Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Good Heart Health Starts With Your Smile

Feb 01, 2020 07:38PM ● By Amber McKenzie

by Louise DeFelice

Since the 1900’s, heart attacks and strokes have been the leading cause of death and disability. The only exception to this was in 1918 when influenza took that top honor. In the U.S., someone is having a heart attack or stroke every 40 seconds. What is driving this inflammation in our heart and blood vessels? We all know that cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activity and smoking can affect our heart health. Research examining other co-factors also clearly shows that the leading cause of arterial inflammation is infections in the mouth. These infections can come from around the teeth and in the gum sockets (periodontal) or from within infected teeth (endodontic).  

Many studies done during the past decade have evolved from showing an association between dental disease and heart disease into studies which proved that inflammation and oral bacteria cause arterial vascular disease. Most people believe that the germs in our mouths stay in our mouths; however, that’s not true. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the body’s circulatory system directly and wreak havoc. In fact, oral bacteria are found in the blood clots of 78 percent of acute heart attack patients.

Our bodies have over 30,000 miles of blood vessels—that’s equivalent to five tennis courts of surface area. If gram-negative bacteria from our mouths aren’t treated, they won’t stop replicating and breaking down the cell walls in our blood vessels, allowing toxins to race in.  These bacteria can alter the genetics of smooth muscle which traps more plaque in our arteries. 

Signs of Periodontal Disease:

·      swollen, red, purple or tender gums

·      gums that bleed easily

·      pus between the teeth and gums

·      bad breath

·      buildup of hard brown deposits along the gum line

·      loose teeth or teeth that are moving apart

·      gums that pull away from your teeth

·      painful chewing

·      new spaces developing between your teeth

·      change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

·      previous tooth loss

*Sidebar type deal:

Healthy Oral Hygiene Tips

As with most diseases, prevention is the name of the game. Dental care and dental health are major elements in preventing heart attacks. The following tips can help:

·       Good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day—once in the morning and once before going to bed. Floss your teeth at least once a day. A diligent home care program along with a personalized treatment plan from your dentist and dental hygienist are key to preventing dental disease.

·       Regular dental visits: See your dentist and dental hygienist every six months.  If you have risk factors for periodontal disease such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, or an auto-immune disease, you likely need treatment and monitoring every three months.

·       Low Dose Cone Beam 3D x-ray evaluation: Get checked for hidden sources of infection at the tips of the teeth.

·       Airway Evaluation: Your dentist is key in identifying and treating obstructive sleep apnea or airway disorders. Research is showing a strong correlation between airway disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

·       Focus on nutrition. Aim to build resilience of your teeth and gums from the inside out. Specific dental nutraceutical formulations are designed to support the immune system and to promote normal gum and bone health.  Often, dramatic improvements are achieved by synergistically balancing the correct ratio of vitamin C, D, E, Co Q10, calcium, magnesium, trace minerals and other high-quality ingredients with superior bioavailability (the body’s ability to absorb nutrients).

·       Consider topical ozone therapy. Ozone gas applied directly into the sockets around the teeth is a potent healer and anti-inflammatory.

Dr. Louise DeFelice is the owner and holistic dentist at DeFelice Dentistry located at 4703 N. Maple St., Spokane, WA. For more information or to make an appointment, call 509-850-0918 or schedule online at
Upcoming Events Near You
Current Issue




Holistic Northwest Living Podcast
Health Brief
READERS: Sign up for our monthly email newsletter


* indicates required
Email Format