Is There An Oral Health Connection To Total Health?
Here’s a new one you may not have heard; maintaining good oral health can help lower your heart disease risk. There has been a proven link between oral bacteria and the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke. There are numerous studies to back this up. This means you must brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss, and even use mouthwash daily to prevent bacteria accumulation that leads to periodontal disease.
One recent study involved 682 participants and monitored their oral hygiene habits. The participants who recorded brushing less than twice a day for less than two minutes may have at least a three times greater risk of heart disease than those who brushed twice a day for at least two minutes. It has been proven that bacteria from your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to other parts of the body. The bacteria can then attach themselves to any damaged tissue area in and around your heart, causing inflammation. On top of heart attacks, this can also cause a condition called endocarditis, an infection in the heart and clogged arteries.
The people most at risk for the mouth heart connection are patients who suffer from periodontal disease. This includes heavy bacteria build up in plaque and tartar, gum and bone inflammation, gum recession, bleeding gums and loose or missing teeth. Any of these symptoms can be dangerous and should be taken seriously.
The most important thing you can do is maintain good oral hygiene to prevent periodontal disease. This means proper brushing, flossing and mouth rinsing, and seeing your dentist routinely for check-ups and cleanings. If you have any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it is important to bring them to your dentist’s attention.
If you have any questions about the connection between oral health and heart health, or if you are due for a dental cleaning, we encourage you to contact us today to book an appointment.