February, a month of many observations, is also American Heart Month. American Heart Month, proclaimed in 1964, recognizes the importance of cardiovascular health as heart disease continues to be the number one killer of Americans. Many organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the Heart Foundation, highlight the importance of bringing awareness to this issue by creating fundraisers and educating the public.
According to the CDC, high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is one of the most preventable diseases; however, it is also considered a silent killer. Why a silent killer? You don’t know you have high blood pressure or heart disease until you have it checked or experience a heart attack. By the time you have a heart attack, the arteries have been damaged. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle, maintaining normal blood pressure, and having regular visits with your physician is vital in preventing heart disease and stroke.
As dental professionals, we take a patient’s blood pressure at every appointment, but when was the last time you checked your blood pressure? Self-care is self-love. Encourage yourself, your loved ones, and those around you to understand the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more about implementing a healthier lifestyle, the oral-systemic connection, understanding medical emergencies, and the importance of maintaining blood pressure, listen to these episodes:
Reflection Health: Episode 20
Episode 254: Medical Emergencies with Bruce and Patty Emery
Your Dental Top 5: Blood Pressure Readings
Reflection Health: Episode 27 – Bale Doneen Method