The effects of oral health go far beyond gum and teeth problems. Consistent habits of good oral hygiene are essential in maintaining a healthy life.
Recent studies have shown a surprising correlation between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. As one of the leading health problems in America, anything you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease is worth the effort. Who would have guessed that the simple habits of brushing and flossing your teeth could potentially extend your life and reduce the risk of this dangerous disease?
Evidence Showing The Link Between Gum And Heart Disease
The apparent link between a disease in the gums and problems in the heart was established many years ago, but further research continues to provide additional evidence. In more recent studies, experts have shown that bacteria in the mouth may enter into the bloodstream through open gum sores, leaving behind a potentially harmful clot-forming protein. Conclusions of this study will be presented in a meeting that will be held by the Society for General Microbiology.
A recent Scottish study that included 11.000 people showed that individuals with poor habits of teeth brushing were more likely to develop heart disease than those who brushed their teeth twice daily.
Potential Cause Of The Correlation
Studies from the University of Bristol and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland provide an interesting conclusion as to the cause of the correlation between the two diseases. The bacteria Streptococcus, which is the main cause of tooth plaque and gum disease, may be at the root of the relationship between heart and gum disease.
Once Streptococcus is released into the bloodstream, the protein PadA is produced. This protein is known to cause blood clotting and possible inflammation of blood vessels. With blood clotting and inflammation, blood flow may be severely obstructed, limiting the amount of natural flow to the heart and brain. These factors likely may contribute to the increased risk of heart disease.
Good Habits Of Oral Hygiene
With the evidence provided by these educational studies, good habits of oral hygiene have become even more important. For optimal total body wellness, remember the following tips:
- Brush teeth at least twice each day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Limit your sugar intake
- Visit the dentist or periodontist at least twice a year for regular checkups
- As soon as gum problems are noticed, seek periodontal disease treatment