It’s no mystery that eating greasy, fatty foods and not exercising can be damaging to your heart. But what about your oral hygiene? Your teeth and your heart, is there a connection?
Good oral hygiene means that you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, visit your dentist at least once every 6 months, and try to cut back on sugar.
If these practices aren’t maintained, gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease. Both of these cause inflammation and infections.
Your Teeth and Your Heart, Is there a Connection?
In 2010, a study done by researchers in England showed that brushing your teeth and having good oral hygiene can decrease the risk of having a heart attack.
For the study, the researchers studied about 11,000 Scottish people and their lifestyle choices like physical activity, smoking, and oral health habits. The participants were asked how often they brushed their teeth and how often they visited they dentist.
The data showed that:
- 62% of participants visited their dentist every 6 months
- 71% stated that they brushed their teeth two times a day
The researchers found that people who did not brush their teeth as often were 70% more likely to develop heart disease. Additionally, they found that participants who did not have good oral hygiene tested positively for bloodstream inflammatory markers as well.
Because infection and inflammation in the gums can also affect the blood vessels that run to the heart, there can be an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
As if cavities weren’t painful enough, studies have answered the question: your teeth and your heart, is there a connection?
If you want to eliminate one more risk factor for heart disease, maintain proper oral hygiene! Visit your dentist, brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day.
Your heart, teeth, and your co-worker will thank you.