The connection between dental health and heart health has recently become more clear due to several studies that found oral bacteria in the arterial plaques of heart patients. Inflammation is the driving force behind arterial disease and along with many other factors, pathogens from the mouth lead to inflammation in the blood vessels.
So How Do the Pathogens Get There?
50% of the population over 30 years old has gum disease. Inflamed and bleeding gums act as an open wound, and the pathogens involved with gum disease are released into the blood stream during chewing and brushing.
How Does This Lead to Heart Disease?
The disease agents flowing through the blood attach themselves to the wall of arteries, causing inflammation those areas. The body sends cholesterol to these sites in order to patch up the affected areas, but these cholesterol plaques cause narrowing of the arteries, which increases blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure damages the blood vessels and causes the heart to work harder to pump blood into all the tiny blood vessels in the body. Additionally, the plaques can break free from the artery wall and get caught in a blood vessel, stopping blood flow to the brain or vital organs. This is called a stroke.
What Can Be Done About It?
From a dental standpoint, meticulous oral hygiene at home is a must. You should floss and brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. Using a power toothbrush like our Oral-B GENIUS brushes will help with your efficiency. However, a professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove the hardened calculus deposits on teeth that initiate the inflammatory response that is the hallmark of gum disease. Additionally, a heart-healthy diet provides many benefits for our dental health too. We’ll cover that in another post!
Consult with Our Expert Team
We provide therapies to treat, as well as prevent gum disease in our Waynesville, NC dental office. Let’s work together to keep you heart-healthy and smiling!Contact Us