Link Between Oral Hygiene and Heart Health
Oral health is important for overall health. There is strong evidence that supports the link between oral health and heart diseases.
There are certain bacteria present in the mouth which reach the other part of the body through the bloodstream. These bacteria on reaching the heart can attach themselves to a damaged area and cause inflammation. These bacteria can raise the C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation of the blood vessels. This can lead to illness such as endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart. It can also increase the risk of stroke.
Periodontal Illness & Heart Health
Gum disease, also known as periodontal illness, is an inflammation of the gums which can lead to a breakdown of the gums and teeth. It also damages the bone tissue that holds the teeth in place.
Heart disease is caused due to narrowing of the blood vessels.
An article reviewed several studies and found out that gum diseases increased the risk of heart disease by 20 percent(1)
According to the American Dental Association, the inflammation of the gums may eventually lead to the narrowing of the important arteries. It may interfere with blood pressure control in the people diagnosed with hypertension(2)
Symptoms and Warning Signs of Altered Oral Health
There are certain signs and symptoms presented by a person with gum diseases such as:
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Tenderness on touching
- Easy bleeding of gums while eating, brushing, and flossing
- Pus and other signs of infection around the gums and teeth
- Offensive breath
- Bad or altered taste in the mouth
- Loosening of the teeth, as if they are moving away from other teeth
Symptoms of Heart Disease
There are certain signs which can signal heart disease.
- Shortness of breath
- Unexpected fatigue
- Chest pain which occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen
- Confusion and impaired thinking
- Fluid build-up in the body
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Heart attack
Can Good Oral Hygiene Keep Your Heart Healthy
There are various ways to keep the heart healthy i.e. by diet exercise, quitting smoking, and keeping a check on other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Good oral hygiene not only protects you from developing gum disease but also can be a way to keep the heart, healthy. It can be achieved the following way:
- Brush teeth twice a day and make sure you clean your tongue as well. Ask your dentist for the correct technique.
- Floss in between the teeth and gums daily.
- Use mouthwash
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco
- Maintain healthy blood sugar level
- Visit the dentist for regular cleaning and check-ups.
Known about the early signs of gum diseases and consult a dentist if any symptom or sign is noticed.
The bacterial build-up and inflammation of the oral cavities can lead to narrowing of the blood vessels and cause heart disease. Being protective of oral health can protect you from heart disease.
Flash out a healthy smile and be sure you are smiling with a healthy heart.