Did You know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women? That’s right! Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your chances of heart disease or heart attack. There is no better time to than during the month of February—designated American Heart Month—than to learn how you can give heart disease the brush off.

Don’t Smoke

If you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you do, get the help that you need to stop. Smoking is the number one cause of heart disease and heart attacks. Smoking also increases the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth which, in turn, increases your risk of gum disease. Recent studies have shown that women with gum disease are more likely to have heart problems.

Brush and Floss Regularly

One of the easiest things you can do to prevent gum disease and, potentially, heart disease, is to brush and floss regularly. When your gums are healthy, bacteria is less likely to enter the blood stream through your gums. When you have gingivitis, on the other hand, your gums become inflamed and the tiny blood vessels in your gums and around your teeth open wider allowing harmful bacteria to enter the blood stream. The bacteria can then cause blood clots and build-up on the artery walls causing a heart attack.

During American Hearth Month, you can learn more about how gum disease and heart disease can be prevented from Dr. Davis.