Is oral health connected to heart health?
It’s hard to visualize the link between your heart and mouth when you look at the latter or brush your teeth. But many studies have already explored this relationship.
In this post, we talk about some of them and why experts think that paying attention to your oral hygiene habits may also do good for your heart.
- Brushing and risks for heart diseases
It turns out that proper brushing may help protect your heart.
In a study published in 2017, researchers asked 628 people about their brushing habits.
Those who brush for less than twice a day and less than two minutes each were found to have higher risks of developing heart diseases than those who brush at least twice a day and for at least two minutes each.
While researchers emphasize that this doesn’t define a cause-and-effect relationship, they say that it’s possible that people with good oral hygiene habits also pay more attention to their overall health.
They also see this as a reminder that the mouth isn’t separate from the body, and it’s an important part of our general health.
- Gum disease and blood pressure
Another study suggests that gum disease or periodontitis may raise your blood pressure.
Periodontal disease is caused by infected or inflamed gums and bones that support the teeth.
According to the study authors, they’ve seen that the more severe the gum disease is, the higher the chances of developing hypertension too. They examined patients with moderate to severe gum disease from 26 countries.
While more studies are needed to explore this connection, it makes sense to extend further oral health advice to patients with hypertension.
- Shared risk factors between gum disease and heart disease
Inflammation can be a major concern in both oral and heart health. It’s the body’s way of fighting foreign invaders.
When you have gum disease, harmful bacteria may reach the bloodstream and find their way to the heart. Heart inflammation, on the other hand, may result in chest pains, fatigue, and breathing difficulties.
Left undiagnosed or untreated, gum issues may increase your risks for cardiovascular diseases.
Further studies are still needed
Experts always emphasize that the keyword is ‘may’. Connections aren’t clear yet, and concrete evidence on the relationship between the mouth and heart health is still needed.
But either way, this message is clear: It pays to pay attention to your oral hygiene habits.
By staying committed to dental care and seeing your dentist regularly, you can keep your gums in good shape and help your heart too.
Getting routine oral exams in Edmonton, AB
Don’t wait until you notice issues with your gums before you see the dentist.
If you’re looking for a family dentist in Edmonton, Alberta, or would like to schedule routine oral checkups, contact us at 780-424-6699. We’re happy to help.
Here at Central Family Dental, new patients and families are always welcome, and we do our best to accommodate dental emergencies.