How Does My Dental Health Affect My Heart Health?

By New Ulm Dental Clinic

  

Most people are aware that healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting enough physical activity, managing your weight and quitting smoking, can help  you prevent heart disease. But did you know that just by brushing and flossing your teeth each day, you are also helping to prevent heart disease?

 

Studies have shown that people with periodontal (gum) disease whose biomarkers showed increased bacterial exposure were more likely to develop coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis (plaque formation in the arteries). Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.

 

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.

 

To help keep your mouth -- and heart -- in its best health, be sure to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings