Good Oral Health: Can It Help Prevent Heart Disease?
Most people are well aware of the fact that brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist help keep the mouth healthy. However, good dental hygiene can do a lot more than just keep your mouth healthy. Some studies suggest that good oral hygiene may help protect against heart disease.
How Are Gum Disease And Heart Disease Linked?
Experts have not been able to pinpoint a direct link between heart disease and gum disease. However, they have found that inflammation is a common denominator in gum disease and heart disease. They have also found that many of the factors that put a person at risk for heart disease also raises their risk of gum disease. This includes things such as smoking and diabetes. A person’s risk of heart disease and gum disease also increases as he or she gets older.
What The Research Says
Periodontologists and cardiologists have reviewed several studies in order to pinpoint the link between heart disease and gum disease. One of the studies involved over 50,000 people. The study showed that the people with the fewest teeth were also at the greatest risk for having a stroke. The researchers have also found that people with gum disease have higher levels of C-reactive protein in their bodies. Doctors often use C-reactive protein levels in order to assess a person’s risk of heart disease.
There are many other factors that raise a person’s risk of heart disease. However, many experts believe that periodontitis alone can raise the risk of heart disease.
How To Protect Your Teeth, Gums And Heart
Even though the exact link between heart health and oral health has not been identified, it is clear that the health of your mouth can affect the rest of your body. That is why it is important to take the steps necessary for protecting your mouth and heart. Below is a list of helpful tips for protecting your mouth and heart:
- Stop smoking as it increases the risk of both gum disease and heart disease. It is also important to note that chewing tobacco is harmful also. That is why smoking cessation is so important. It is one of the best ways to protect the heart and mouth.
- Regular checkups-You should see both your primary care physician and dentist on a regular basis. Dentists and physicians are working together in order to help patients cut their risk of heart disease. One way is by lowering the amount of sugars and acidic food ingested as well as losing weight. It is also important to note that both gum disease and heart disease are easier to treat if they are caught early.
- Home care-Brushing and flossing will help your gums and teeth healthy. These activities not only help protect against gum disease, but they can also prevent cavities.
This post is courtesy of Dr. Stoddard and The Center of Dental Excellence, one of the local dentists in Pocatello, Idaho. Dr. Stoddard and his team offer many services for the family including dental surgery.
Topic: Good Oral Health: Can It Help Prevent Heart Disease?