Poor oral hygiene can affect more than your smile. Studies have shown that heart disease is linked to poor oral care because of the body’s response to inflammation caused by bacteria from infection.

Oral hygiene issues like cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and untreated tooth decay can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. Although more research needs to be done on the link between oral care and heart disease, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Learn how maintaining good oral care protects your teeth and your heart below.

Treat cavities as soon as possible

An untreated cavity can lead to periodontal disease, which causes your gums to recede from your teeth. The gap between the gum line is where bacteria can hide and grow that can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart’s arteries.

When the bacteria in your heart’s arteries harden, a condition called atherosclerosis can form where plaque grows on the inner walls of the arteries. This restricts blood flow throughout the body and leads to heart disease.

See your dentist about bleeding gums

Infected gums are sensitive, red, and may bleed when brushing or flossing. Gum infection is often a result of poor oral hygiene and should be addressed right away to prevent a condition called endocarditis.

This rare but serious heart condition develops when bacteria from infected gums spreads to the inner linings of the heart, which directly affects the heart’s valves. Endocarditis increases your risk of a heart attack.

Maintain good oral care

The best way to protect your heart is to maintain a good at-home oral care routine. Yankee Valley Dental recommends brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and visiting your dentist regularly to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

An annual cleaning helps to stop tooth decay from built-up plaque and prevents gum inflammation. Along with practicing good oral care at home, speak to your dentist about some health concerns that could affect your heart.

As one of the most trusted dental clinics in Airdrie, Yankee Valley Dental is here to help you with all of your dental needs. Get in touch with our friendly staff today – we are ready to answer your questions!