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Oral Health and Heart Disease

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Apr 12 2021, 01:15 AM

Oral Health and Heart Disease

According to the CDC, a staggering 12 percent of Americans have heart disease - and those are just the diagnosed cases. Many more could be suffering from this potentially fatal illness without even realizing it. Heart disease prevention is so important. This includes eating a healthy diet, living an active lifestyle, and believe it or not, taking care of your oral health.

While researchers are still not sure of the link between oral health and heart disease, they know that there are many reasons oral health could be linked to this serious condition. Here are a few ways your oral health could be damaging your heart- and what you can do about it.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type two diabetes can be caused by many things, but many with this dangerous disease are overweight and/or smoke. These can put your oral health at risk, increasing your risk of developing oral health diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. This in turn can allow bacteria into the bloodstream, which can cause inflammation that damages the heart.

Gum Disease

As we mentioned before, gum disease can contribute to heart disease because it causes inflammation which allows bacteria into the bloodstream. This bacteria can then travel throughout the body, including to the heart and brain, causing problems like heart disease and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease.

Smoking

Smoking has been shown time and time again to be both detrimental to your oral health as well as to your heart health. Those who smoke may develop both oral health problems and heart problems, so the two conditions could be linked that way.

Overweight

Being overweight does not mean you will have oral health problems, but it can mean other conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, which has been shown to contribute to heart disease.

Stress / Anxiety 

Living a high-stress lifestyle is not good for your heart or your oral health. That’s because stress puts strain on the heart, and stress can cause a host of oral health problems, including teeth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, and even cavities and gum disease if stress or depression cause you to neglect your oral hygiene.

As you can see there are many ways oral health and heart health are related. To improve both issues, work to resolve these problems by living an active lifestyle, eating right, quitting smoking, caring for your oral health, and getting the recommended amount of sleep. 

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