Oral hygiene is not only good for your dental health but your heart as well. Find out how taking care of your teeth can help your heart.
One factor that you may have overlooked in your attempt to improve your heart health is your dental hygiene. While research is ongoing, most experts agree that maintaining healthy teeth and gums provides heart-health benefits.
“When you ignore pain, particularly in your mouth, it’s a bad thing,” says Dr. Carl Horton, a cardiologist with Texas Health Heart & Vascular Specialists. “Being aware of oral and heart conditions – and taking prompt action when problems arise – are essential steps to improving your overall health.”
Dental and Heart Health
“We previously thought of cardiovascular disease as an isolated phenomenon,” explains Horton. “All the ways heart disease is linked to other problems in the body wasn’t initially recognized. It wasn’t common to think about the disease process and the role inflammation plays in multiple conditions.”
However, some studies now suggest that dental issues may have a connection to multiple heart conditions. For example, if you have poor oral hygiene, bacteria can reach high levels and lead to infections, gum disease, and more. “The danger is that a type of bacteria from the mouth can cause clots and serious problems if it enters the bloodstream,” Horton says.
Analyzing the Link
According to studies, individuals who brush less than twice a day for less than two minutes have a three-fold increased risk of death from heart disease and strokes. In contrast, by treating gum disease along with other stroke risk factors, you may reduce the severity of plaque formation in the arteries.
Furthermore, people with healthier gums have healthier blood pressure levels than those with periodontitis. On the other hand, adults with severe gum disease are twice as likely to have high systolic blood pressure.
For people 30 years of age or older, it’s important that they monitor their oral health as well as their heart disease risk factors. “If you are having heart problems or dental problems you shouldn’t delay getting help,” Horton says.
If you want to improve both your oral and heart health, consider doing things that benefit both. “A lot of the basics overlap,” notes Horton. “These include focusing on eating cleaner, less processed foods, quitting smoking and not underestimating the importance of physical activity such as walking to get the heart rate up most days of the week.”
Also, make sure you floss and brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes, use fluoride toothpaste, use mouthwash, limit sugary food products, and get regular dental exams (every six to 12 months). For your heart health, consider eating healthily, exercising regularly, and taking supplements like L-arginine Plus.
Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. If you’re ready to support your heart health, then start taking care of your teeth and take L-arginine Plus.