October is National Dental Hygiene Month. We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking last you checked this was not a dentist’s office and this is a blog about your heart health. But what happens with your teeth can affect your heart. Hear about the relationship between dental hygiene and your heart from our Dr. Ansaarie.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that can result from lack of dental hygiene, While there isn’t necessarily a direct correlation supporting the prevention of periodontitis as a way to prevent heart disease, this doesn’t mean to completely disregard your teeth when taking care of your heart health.
The mouth is often a good place to start as many of the risk factors of periodontitis are also factors that will cause problems in the heart and blood vessels.
For example, risk factors of periodontitis are smoking and diabetes, are also risk factors of heart disease. These risk factors may provide a logical explanation for why those who have problem with their teeth also have problems with their hearts.
There is research suggesting that bacteria in the mouth can move into the bloodstream and cause C-reactive proteins to increase. C-reactive proteins increase when inflammation is present which can in turn increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Although more research is needed to better define the exact relationship with heart health and dental hygiene, we are confident that attention to both teeth and heart are important for your long-term health. So brush your teeth everyday, floss and visit the dentist (no matter how painful it may be).