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There Could Be a Way to Prevent Heart Disease that Might Surprise You

Posted on 6/20/2015 by Leslie Davis
A doctor holding a red cartoon like heart inside her hands. Most of us know the most common ways to prevent heart disease: eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. It also is a best to never smoke and to keep weight under control. Did you know, however, that there are other ways that could have an effect on whether you ever get heart disease? One of them has to do with your oral health.

Can Poor Dental Health Cause Heart Problems?

There has been substantial research done on the possible link between gum disease and heart disease. According to some of these clinical studies, there is evidence that the bacteria in your mouth that are involved in some types of periodontal disease can get into the blood and may cause inflammation in some blood vessels. It is thought, according to these studies, that gum disease may lead to higher risk of heart disease.

Note that the American Heart Association did publish a statement a few years ago that did support some correlation between heart and gum disease. The statement, while it did not state that regular dental care and treating gum disease would decrease the chances of heart disease, it did note that there seems to be an association between diseases in the gums and other serious health problems, such as heart problems.

Most experts believe that more data is needed to determine if there is any certain link between dental health and heart health. Still, there is no doubt that keeping top oral hygiene is better for your health as a whole.

Poor Oral Hygiene Is A Good Warning Sign

While there is still no definite link between heart disease and gum disease, it is clear that if you have problems with your teeth and gums, this is a warning sign that you could have other serious health problems. For example, people who a lot of problems with their mouth could also have problems with their heart and related blood vessels.

Gum disease and heart disease have many of the same factors of risk, including age, diabetes and smoking. Both gum disease and heart disease deal with inflammation in the body. The fact that both problems have some of the same risk factors could explain how diseases of the heart and of the mouth can occur at the same time.

Other Problems That Poor Dental Health Can Cause

The heart is not the only area that may be affected by poor teeth and gums. Some research suggests that there might be a link between poor teeth and gums and dementia. According to one study, female subjects ages 75-98 were followed and it was found that the people who had the fewest teeth left were more likely to develop dementia. Some experts think that the oral bacteria might spread into the brain via nerves that are connected through the jaw. They think that this might contribute to the plaque problem that could cause Alzheimer's.

Also, poor dental hygiene may lead to high blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes. It has been found that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease than people without it. It could be because diabetics are more likely to get infections. Research also suggests that gum disease might cause it to be harder to keep your blood sugar in check.

So, there could indeed be links between periodontal disease and various diseases in the body. That is why it is very important to take the best care of your teeth and gums that you can. Get a dental checkup every six months, and be certain to brush your teeth twice per day, and do not forget the daily flossing either! Please contact us today if you feel your oral hygiene is in poor condition or if you have any questions.

Dr. Leslie Davis

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