Heart disease and oral health

For all my talk about living a heart healthy lifestyle there is one component that I overlook every single day. Any guesses? The answer is a little embarrassing... FLOSSING! I brush at least twice a day and I waterpic several times a week but flossing is such a chore. (Especially for someone with a permanent retainer cemented to the back of my lower front teeth.) My excuses are the same everyday: in the morning I'm too rushed to get to work and in the evening I'm much too tired and just want to get to bed. 

My laziness wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't showing early signs of gum disease - but I am. It is most likely a symptom of taking over a decade's worth of oral contraceptives - but regardless of what is causing it it is something I need to get under control. 

The dental hygenist had a suggestion: don't wait until bedtime - instead make it a habit to floss immediately after lunch or dinner. I'm taking her advice to heart. I've been able to change my eating habits, lower my blood pressure, lose almost 20lbs and make exercise a routine part of my week - daily flossing is just the next step in living a truly heart healthy life. I can do it!

• Those with adult gum disease may have increased risk of stroke
• Bacteria from the mouth may cause clotting problems in the cardiovascular system that lead to an increased risk of a fatal heart attack. 
•People with type II diabetes are three times as likely to develop gum disease then are nondiabetics.