Heart Disease – The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Did you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected?
It is important to know that your oral health and your overall health are directly connected. You may be surprised to learn that heart disease presents itself with oral symptoms. If you’re experiencing swollen, bleeding or tender gums, or even chronic bad breath you may be at risk! That’s why it’s important to visit us regularly to keep a close eye on your oral health to spot potential problems early! We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation.
How could gum disease increase your chances of heart disease? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase atheromas/plaque formation. These deposits decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack. A specific virulent form of bacteria found in oral plaque has been correlated with low HDL (good) cholesterol and high triglycerides both factors of increased risk for cardio vascular disease. Leaving gum disease issues untreated can end up costing you a lot more than a routine visit to the dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Follow these easy oral health tips to improve your oral health and decrease your risk of gum and heart disease:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2-3 minutes using small circles along the gum line
- Regularly use mouthwash to reduce plaque deposits
- Floss 1-2 times daily to remove plaque not reached by your toothbrush
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
Practicing excellent dental care is essential to prevent gum disease for a lifetime of healthy hearts and smiles! Visit us to protect your oral health and learn even more about how preventative care can help you.