The Mayo Clinic talks about the link between oral health and heart disease. They say the one thing you can do to take care of your heart, is to take care of your teeth and gums. They’re not alone in recommending this. There have been a number of studies linking chronic gum disease with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
This article explores the direct link between your oral and heart health and the best ways to keep them both disease-free and strong.
Can Flossing Stop a Heart Attack?
Colgate says that 80% of Americans have some form of periodontal or gum disease. These disorders often are undiagnosed, which can lead to big health problems down the road. Regular check-ups can spot even the first signs of these diseases, but many people avoid going to the dentist at all until there is a problem. But these problems may crop up in ways that they may not expect.
Delta Dental quotes a Swedish study linking heart disease, which is the number one killer of Americans, with gum disease. The study showed that people with gum disease had a 28% higher risk of heart disorders. The American Heart Association acknowledged the link but also stated they weren’t entirely sure how it occurs.
Scientists have surmised that the bacteria in your teeth and gums can travel through the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body. That bacterium can attach to the blood vessels, increasing the risk of damage to your heart. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that the bacteria can also flow through the bloodstream, which can cause an elevation in the C-reactive protein and inflammation in the blood vessels. This leads to an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Clearly, while more research needs to be done, there is something to these studies that link our oral health with our overall health. Bad oral health is tied to smoking, nutrition, diabetes and a host of other disorders, including your heart health.
Las Vegas Dentists Love Your Heart
Preventing disease is key, whether you’re trying to keep your teeth healthy – or your heart. When it comes to oral health, there are some generally accepted practices that will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Some of the best practices to keep your healthy include:
- Brush your teeth with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once per day.
- Replace your toothpaste at least every 90-days.
- See your dentist twice per year for a professional cleaning and check-up.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits.
- Drink plenty of water.
Your oral health and your overall physical health are irrevocably linked. But the steps necessary to protect your teeth and gums are easy when you start with a visit to your Las Vegas dentist. Your first visit will include an overall exam along with x-rays to determine the underlying health of the structure of your teeth. We’ll also talk with you about your general health and teach you techniques to improve your oral health.
Contact your Las Vegas dentist today to start on the road to better health.