Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Oral Health is Good for Heart Health

There are many factors that contribute to your overall health, like diet and fitness level. But did you know that recent studies show that there is a link between oral health and heart health?

Scientists have discovered that several species of bacteria that cause periodontal disease have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque in arteries in the heart. This plaque can lead to heart attack or stroke. The bacteria that cause serious gum disease may enter the bloodstream through the mouth and attach to fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which may contribute to heart disease. After examining 650 patients, scientists concluded that there was an association between increased level of blood vessel thickening and the presence of the bacteria found in dental plaque that is known to cause serious gum disease.

Periodontal, or gum disease, is an infection of tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is caused by plaque, which are bacteria that form on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums.

Since gum disease, such as gingivitis, can be an indicator of cardiovascular problems, individuals at risk for heart disease need to adopt an oral health routine.
A good oral health routine involves taking measure to avoid gum disease. Good dental hygiene includes brushing your teeth twice daily, in the morning and at bedtime. Don’t forget to brush your tongue. Plaque on the tongue can not only cause bad breath, but it can also be the ideal environment for bacteria.

Flossing is important in an oral health routine. Flossing dislodges any food particles and discourages plaque build-up.

Visiting a Knoxville dentist every six months is also vital for good oral health. At regular dental visits, a hygienist will clean your teeth and the dentist will examine your teeth and mouth to detect any potential problems.

Making wise food choices can go a long way to help to prevent gum disease. Foods that contain a lot of sugar, especially sticky foods, can cause plaque build-up. The longer the sugar stays in contact with the teeth, the more damage it can cause.

Foods that are good for your overall oral health include vegetables, certain fruits, and whole grains. Cheeses, peanuts, yogurt, and milk are good for your teeth because they help rid the mouth of harmful sugars that lead to bacterial growth that causes plaque.

There are several warning signs that could indicate that gum disease may be an issue. Gums that bleed easily; red, swollen, tender gums; gums that have pulled away from the teeth; or, persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth are all symptoms of possible gum disease. If you experience any of these warning signs, schedule an appointment with your Knoxville dentist immediately.

Maintaining good oral health is one factor to your overall health and your heart health. If you have any questions about your oral health, contact Dr. Wes Mullins of My Family Dentistry today.

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