The link between oral health and heart health is often not understood by the common person. However, research has shown that the two are very closely related. According to the American Heart Association, brushing your teeth at least twice a day can significantly reduce the probability of cardiovascular diseases.
In a recent study, researchers who observed the oral hygiene habits of 682 people found that individuals who did not brush their teeth at least twice a day had a significantly higher risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases than subjects who maintained a much stricter oral hygiene regimen.
So, what’s the connection between oral hygiene and heart health? Read on to find out how oral health affects heart health.
How Poor Oral Hygiene Affects Blood Pressure
Poor oral hygiene can have adverse effects on your heart health if you already have hypertension. Research has proven that individuals who had gum disease and high blood pressure were 20 percent less likely to achieve a stable level of blood pressure and vice versa. In addition to this, hypertensive patients who suffered from gum disease also had a poorer response to medication.
Oral Inflammation Causes Damage to Blood Vessels
According to a study conducted by Harvard Health Publishing, oral bacteria can significantly increase blood clots by discharging toxins into a person’s arteries and veins. These toxins can also be released into the bloodstream, thus increasing the chances of strokes and heart attacks. Furthermore, inflammation of the gums can exacerbate inflammation in the body especially if a patient has an already existing condition that causes inflammation.
What Actions Should You Take?
In case you already have an existing heart condition, maintaining good oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of heart problems. However, it is crucial to note that proper oral hygiene involves a lot more than simply brushing your teeth. You also need to floss your teeth regularly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria, which would otherwise cause inflammation.
While mouthwash can be very helpful when it comes to eliminating mouth odor, flossing enables you to reach the crevices in your teeth and remove food particles that you may not be able to reach with normal brushing. In addition to this, you need to make a point of seeing an experienced dentist every few months to monitor and manage the risk of gum disease.
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