As part of February’s American Heart Month, the California Dental Association (CDA) is raising awareness to the association between oral health and heart health.

Studies have shown an association between periodontal diseases and cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to the American Academy of Periodontology,people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer fromcoronary artery disease than those without. While several theories existto explain the link, it is believed that oral bacteria can affect theheart by attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries,contributing to clot formation.

“Prevention is key to a healthy mouth,” said Dan Davidson, DMD,president of CDA. “Beyond the connection to your heart and overallhealth, good oral hygiene and regular dental care is essential inpreventing dental pain and reducing the risk of cavities and moreserious dental problems from developing.”