Brushing Your Teeth Saves Your Heart
Brushing your teeth properly is one of the most overlooked components for good overall health. Who knew that gum disease could lead to poor heart health? Recently, scientists have released findings that proved gum disease can be linked to heart problems. The study, led by Richard Watt from University College London, reviewed data from around 11,000 individuals who participated in the Scottish Health Survey.
Researchers evaluated behaviors such as lifestyle habits and oral health habits. As they reviewed the cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, weight, and family health history, they discovered that those who were brushing less frequently had a 70% increased risk of heart disease in comparison to those who brush their teeth and gums at least twice a day. The team is planning additional studies to discover whether or not the poor oral health care was the sole cause of the heart problems or if it was an additional risk factor such as being overweight or smoking.
While it will be interesting to learn more about these upcoming studies, the data that both doctors and dentists have already collected shows that inflammation in the mouth can be responsible for damage throughout the body. This means that if you already have cardiovascular disease or your family has a history of heart problems, it’s vital that you practice good oral hygiene. By working to prevent gum disease, you can eliminate one of the dangerous risk factors that could put your life at risk.
The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Problems
When gum tissue becomes inflamed, it produces toxins that get into your blood stream and raise the levels of C-reactive protein in your body. This can damage your arteries and keep them from working properly. The inflammation can also lead to plaque building up in your arteries which leads to heart disease.
As you get older, gum tissue starts to recede inside your mouth, making it harder for teeth to stay healthy. This makes gum disease more likely for people over the age of sixty-five. But even young adults are at risk for gum disease if they are not practicing good dental care habits.
People who don’t brush their teeth regularly or who use tobacco products are at a much higher risk for gum disease than people who brush their teeth twice a day and lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes in order to protect yourself from gum disease. You can also use mouth wash to help fight gum disease, however it’s important that you also brush. You should also get regular checkups to see if you have gum disease.
If gum disease isn’t treated in the early stages, it can lead to more serious issues such as gingivitis and even tooth loss if left untreated. So, brush your teeth twice a day, get regular checkups, and try to avoid gum disease to work toward a happy and healthy life.
Dr. Jeffrey Cross is happy to help all patients work toward better oral hygiene and discuss any risk factors between your oral health and living a healthy life. Reduce your risk of heart disease by learning how to practice good oral care. Reach out to our office in the Frederick, Maryland area. Call (301) 662-0300 or contact us on the web to arrange your consultation today.