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How do I decrease my risk for periodontal and heart disease?

While there are many risk factors for both periodontal disease and heart disease, the overlapping risk factors include older age, being male, cigarette smoking, diabetes type 1 or 2, and low income.

Some risk factors can be changed, while others such as age and gender cannot. Diabetes type 2 can be managed by controlling blood sugar through diet and sometimes with medication. Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, can only be permanently cured with a pancreas transplant. Low income can be changed, but it is difficult to do.

But smoking can be stopped. Other simple healthy behaviors can decrease the risk of periodontal and heart disease. These include brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.