Dental Hygiene & Heart Disease: What You Need To Know
It’s long been proposed that the condition of your teeth can impact the health of your heart. While it may seem strange that the cleanliness of your mouth can affect your heart, various gum diseases invariably seem present with coronary conditions.
As October is National Dental Hygiene Month, we thought it would be a good time to relook at the possible link between poor oral hygiene and heart disease to see if they are connected.
Does Bad Oral Hygiene Cause Heart Disease?
While the American Heart Association asserts that good oral care cannot treat heart disease, there are some widely accepted theories regarding the connections between good dental hygiene and the heart:
- Mouth bacteria related to gingivitis or periodontitis can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. Remnants of oral bacteria have been found in blood vessels far from the mouth.
- Infections related to gum disease contribute to inflammation within the body, a leading cause of heart attacks and blood clots.
- Other conditions frequently associated with gum diseases and tooth loss (such as diabetes, artificial arteries, and artery disease) contribute significantly to heart problems.
While more recent studies note an association between poor oral care and increased risks for cardiovascular disease, many researchers still find the evidence inconsistent and unreliable. The great debate will continue until further research provides more conclusive evidence.
Why Is Good Oral Hygiene Still Important?
While the jury is still out on whether poor oral care contributes to heart disease, proper dental hygiene is essential for your general well-being.
Even if you aren’t worried about coronary issues, cleaning and protecting your teeth is in your best interest. For one, periodontal disease can hurt the soft tissue of your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Other gum diseases cause pits that can get infected or lead to other health problems.
Oral health is total body health, so taking steps to clean your teeth is all part of your daily healthcare routine.
Prevention Is Better Than Relying on a Cure
There are several ways you protect your teeth—and by extension, possibly even your heart.
- Brushing and flossing are everyday practices, and you can rinse with mouthwash.
- Regular visits to the dentist are also beneficial, as the experts can detect potential diseases early and take steps to preserve the health of your teeth.
- Quitting smoking is a significant lifestyle change that can also help.
Prevention is far better than dealing with extended and costly dental issues.
Want to improve your overall dental hygiene? Contact Cakmes Dental Studio for all your general dentistry and oral care needs. Our dental health services include preventative dental care and periodontal therapy to ensure healthy gums and bones.