Heart health should be an aspect of personal healthcare that we are all concerned about. After all, the heart is a pretty important part of the system! As vital as the heart is to our life and well-being, the mouth is another significant part of our body that we would do well to care for scrupulously. In fact, studies have found that there is an undeniable connection between heart health and good oral hygiene.
While there is definitely some link between periodontal disease and heart disease, researchers aren’t exactly sure of the nature of that relationship. We are not saying that brushing your teeth more will prevent a heart attack. It could be simply that people who are conscientious about their oral health tend to be more diligent about their health in general. However, there is a risk of certain types of bacterial infections occurring, particularly in heart valve patients, that does seem to arise from poor dental health habits.
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease, and tooth loss patterns have been connected to coronary artery disease. There also seems to be a strong case to be made that people who suffer from diabetes benefit from periodontal treatment. Researchers have found that individuals who brush their teeth less than two minutes twice a day have a three-fold increased risk of heart disease compared to those who reported healthier brushing habits. Gum disease can indicate that the body is in a continual state of inflammation, which is a very powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease.
The bottom line is, take care of your teeth and mouth. Doing so may or may not directly impact your cardiovascular system in a positive manner, but it certainly isn’t going to do any damage. Any step you take on a regular basis towards good health is advisable, so take the time to make sure you are brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes twice a day each day.
Dr. Gerald V. Cerdan has been practicing dentistry in Winter Haven since 2007. He is a member of the International Dental Implant Association with a Fellowship status, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honors Society, Spear Education Study Club, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Florida Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Polk County Dental Association. The team at Winter Haven Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is committed to providing high-quality care for all their patients, and Dr. Cerdan is skilled in using cutting-edge technologies to give patients smiles they can be proud of.