Oral Hygiene is Key to Heart Health

toothbrushWe all do things to try and prevent heart disease, right? Maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise are no-brainers, but did you know there is something else simple you could do to maintain your heart health? Good oral hygiene can actually have an impact on the health of your heart.

It’s no secret that bacteria live in our mouths. Saliva is able to flush away some of it, but we get rid of most by brushing and flossing our teeth. This is why most dentists recommend finishing anything sugary all at once instead of throughout the day — so you can get rid of all that bacteria rather than let it sit on your teeth. Those with poor oral hygiene or gum disease run the risk of that bacteria entering the bloodstream. Some of this bacteria has been found in cholesterol plaques on the walls of coronary arteries, which suggests that they contribute to cholesterol blockages.

Poor Oral Hygiene Possibly Linked to Cholesterol Blockages

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without the disease. This goes to show that routine trips to your dentist could benefit more than your smile. You should definitely see your doctor or dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to heat and cool
  • Color changes in your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums pulling away from teeth

For more information, consult this article written by Dr. Robert Schwab.

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