The Importance of Dental Care to Heart Health

By Steven Kail on April 21, 2015

An elderly woman and man with healthy looking teeth, smilingProper dental care is not only vital to maintaining oral health, it may also play a role in heart health. Recent studies suggest that those with severe gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart health issues. Gum disease can be prevented by practicing good dental care habits. General dentistry treatments can help get your oral health back on track and reduce the risk of heart-related health issues. Find out more about the link between oral health and heart health in this overview from Jackson dental group, Premier Dental Center.

The Links between Oral Health and Heart Health

Studies indicate that those with severe oral health issues are more likely to experience heart health issues. While it's not certain if one causes the other, it is apparent that the two are related. Gum disease is the major concern when it comes to linking oral health to heart health. The link seems to be the ability of oral infections, such as those caused by gum disease, to travel within the bloodstream, eventually reaching the heart. Oral health issues can lead to the following heart problems:

  • Endocarditis: Oral infections can spread to the heart, leading to a condition called endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the tissue that lines the inside of the heart, protecting the heart's chambers and valves. Endocarditis can permanently damage the valves, interfering with the heart's ability to pump blood.
  • Heart Attack: Those with severe gum disease are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. This may be related to the link between oral infection and inflammation. Bacterial infections increase the risk of inflammation, even within the arteries. Inflamed arteries make blood circulation difficult, and when the coronary arteries become inflamed the heart is at risk of infarction.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Oral bacteria are believed to travel through the bloodstream, causing inflammation within the arteries and infection of the heart tissue. This can lead to cardiovascular disease, including arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, and even heart failure.

The Importance of Dental Care

You can protect your heart from oral health-related problems by practicing good dental care. A proper dental care routine is key to preventing oral infections, like gum disease. Good dental care is not only important to keeping your mouth healthy, it's also important to heart health. Here are some dental care tips to help you stay healthy:

  • Maintain proper oral hygiene: Establishing a good oral hygiene routine will help reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, which can lower the risk of heart-related issues. Proper oral hygiene requires brushing no less then twice a day, for a minimum of two minutes during each brushing. Flossing is also important and should be done at least once a day, every day.
  • See your dentist regularly: Regular check-ups and dental cleanings are an important part of dental care and should not be skipped. Regular dental exams and cleanings allow your dentist to catch problems early and reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
  • Reduce oral infections with an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help further reduce the risk of bacterial infections within the mouth.

Protect Your Health

Dental care is not just important to oral health, it's important to overall health. Get your oral health back on track. Schedule a consultation with Premier Dental Center today.

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