Does oral health have anything to do with the potential for coronary heart disease? According to some theories, the two are more closely related than we think. People who have poor oral health are at high risk for cardiovascular problems. Here are a few reasons why:
Bad bacteria found in the gums cause gingivitis and periodontitis. This same bacteria gets into blood vessels and cause inflammation and damage. Due to this, heart failure and stroke can follow. Experts have found remnants of oral bacteria in blood vessels far from the mouth.
Not only can bacteria itself cause heart problems, but inflammation from the body responding to oral bacteria can also be a factor. Inflammation causes vascular damage throughout the body, majorly affecting the heart and brain.
Other Common Variables
If a patient smokes, they are at risk for both gum disease and heart disease. So, while one didn’t necessarily cause the other, they will both inevitably occur for smokers. Further, people who don’t have access to health care are less likely to be able to get their teeth checked regularly. Seeing a dentist regularly is a big part of being able to avoid gum disease and other oral issues. Statistics also show that people who do not maintain their overall health are less likely to maintain their oral health. Lack of motivation and lack of access can lead to both oral and coronary problems.
Avoid Gum Disease
Because a healthy mouth will keep you looking and feeling your best, here are some ways you can maintain your oral health:
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste twice, daily.
- Floss daily.
- Maintain regular dentist visits.
- Limit alcoholic beverages.
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