Research has found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. The link between the two is still being studied, but it is a fact that the same bacteria found in the mouth is found in the blood vessels of those who suffer from hardening of the arteries.
Inflammation of the oral tissues breaks down the barrier between the mouth and the underlying connective tissue, releasing bacteria into the blood stream. It is thought that this bacteria adheres to fatty deposits in the blood, contributing to blockages. This initiates an inflammatory response which causes the walls of blood vessels to swell, reducing blood flow. Blood pressure can increase, which can cause clots to form and plaques to break loose from the walls, possibly leading to strokes.
In addition to improving heart health by following a low-fat, high-fiber diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking, your dental health regimen can aid in lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease. We recommend:
- Having a complete dental cleaning, including a doctor’s exam and diagnostic x-rays done at the interval recommended by your dentist. The interval will vary according to your particular need.
- Brush and floss your teeth adequately in the morning and before bed. We recommend the Oral-B Genius Power Toothbrush, which enables you to access all surfaces of the teeth more efficiently than a traditional toothbrush.
- Eat foods high in Vitamins A and C which contribute to oral health. These include oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale, among others. These are also rich in antioxidants.
A healthy smile equals a healthy heart. Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you get both!