Oral Health & Your Heart

Prevent heart trouble with proper oral hygiene

Believe it or not, the way you take care of your teeth can affect the health of your heart. Why? Because when your mouth is filled with bacteria and their toxins, each swallow sends poisons into your system. In fact, poor oral hygiene or unchecked gum disease may possibly contribute to a chronic low-grade illness. And if gum tissues become inflamed or broken during brushing or flossing, researchers believe that toxins can travel right through the bloodstream into your heart. The only good news about this situation is that it's entirely preventable.

Oral Infections & Mobile Bacteria

Currently, some research suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender and age. Recent studies even identify those with gum disease as being at higher risk for heart attacks than the rest of the population, although the exact link between these two situations is not yet clearly identified. What has been demonstrated is that the greater the level of gum infection, the greater the chance for oral bacteria to actually enter the blood stream and begin to travel throughout the system. If this bacteria reaches your arteries, the arteries may become irritated just as your gums did in the first place. Such arterial wall irritations typically result in a buildup of protective plaque, which in turn may harden and block blood flow. And without sufficient blood flow, your heart can easily have a heart attack. Further, loosened arterial plaque may itself travel through the bloodstream, reach the brain, and form a stroke-producing blockage.

Prevention & Detection

We can use a special rinse immediately after dental procedures to neutralize the bacteria and reduce your chances of it traveling through your bloodstream. However, your best defense against any of these possible scenarios, is to maintain a consistently healthy mouth. Not only through meticulous daily brushing and flossing habits, but by visiting our office for your regular check-ups at least twice a year. Remember, gum disease is a silent but serious problem that may go unnoticed without those professional exams. And it's relatively easy to take care of a little stubborn tooth plaque now, but far more difficult to take care of the kind that builds up in your arteries.