FDI celebrates World Heart Day

29 September 2016

Today is World Heart Day and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! “Power your life” is the theme for this year’s campaign, which encourages people to fuel their hearts and power their lives by taking a few simple steps to improve their heart health and overall well-being.

World Heart Day was established to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and drive action to reduce the global disease burden. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is accountable for nearly half of all deaths from noncommunicable diseases – making it the number one killer in the world – and claims 17.5 million lives each year.

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The heart-mouth connection

Cardiovascular disease shares some of the same risk factors as oral disease, such as tobacco and alcohol use, as well as unhealthy diets, specifically those high in free sugars. Gum (periodontal) disease, in particular, may be associated with cardiovascular disease. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that begins as gingivitis (mild stage) and can progress into periodontitis (more severe stage) – a disease affecting between 15-20% of adults aged 35-44 years.

A healthy mouth is essential to a healthy body. It is therefore crucial to encourage people to practice healthy habits that can lower the risk of both gum disease and cardiovascular disease. This means brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste; eating a healthy diet; reducing or quitting smoking; and visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups to identify any oral health problems or signs of systemic disease from early on.

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