If you’re in a rush to your first class or an early-morning meeting, brushing your teeth is typically the first to go on your list of priorities. No worries—you’ll just chew some gum on the way out. However, what most individuals fail to realize is the connection between poor oral health and heart disease. If you’re skimping on your tooth-brushing habits, here are a few reasons you shouldn’t.
As with most types of diseases, poor oral health causes the spread of bacteria from your mouth to the rest of your body. If you leave the problem to fester, bacteria cling to areas of the heart, causing inflammation.
From there, you are at risk of developing endocarditis, which affects the inner lining of the heart. In some cases, oral bacteria can even cause other cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis or clogged arteries.
If you suffer from chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, you are at greater risk of heart disease. Furthermore, neglecting the problem allows more bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Throw in plaque or accumulated biofilm, and you also increase your risk of gum disease. If enough bacteria penetrate the bloodstream, C-reactive proteins, which are markers for inflammation in the blood cells, increase.
Heart disease begins with disease elsewhere in the body—your gums. If you suspect you might have gum disease, you’re probably suffering from the following symptoms.
The best way to prevent gum disease—and therefore, heart disease—is to adhere to a rigorous oral hygiene regimen and visit your dentist for regular teeth cleaning.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush that fits perfectly into your mouth. Never shop for a discount toothbrush—these are typically manufactured with unsafe materials that don’t undergo strict quality control. Ensure that you purchase one that can reach every surface of your mouth.
Use an ADA-approved (American Dental Association) toothpaste, which has proven to enhance gum health in as quickly as four weeks. Don’t forget to floss daily, regardless of how easy it is to fall out of the habit.
When you realize the connection between oral health and heart disease, you’ll learn to become more proactive about flossing, brushing, and regular trips to the dentist. Promote a healthy smile by paying attention to early-onset symptoms of gum disease—don’t just push them to the side!
For dental cleaning that will leave your pearly whites worthy of a million-dollar smile, visit Matthew’s Family Dentistry. Whether preventative or restorative, we work towards ensuring you keep periodontal disease at bay, making for a healthy heart!