Poor dental hygiene has been discussed as a possible cause of cardiovascular disease for many years. Studies have shown that:

• Poor oral health leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke
• There is a connection between tooth loss patterns and coronary artery disease
• Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which affects the heart valves

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How are cardiovascular disease and poor oral hygiene connected?

Heart disease is linked to poor oral health because of the body’s response to the bacteria that enter the bloodstream. Rather than bacteria causing the problem, it’s the body’s auto-immune response to inflammation.

Bacteria from gingivitis and periodontal travel to the blood vessels where they cause inflammation and small blood clots, directly affecting your heart and brain and leading to a risk of heart attack or stroke.

Additionally, a recent study analyzes data from nearly a million people to conclude that there is some correlation between tooth loss and coronary heart disease.

Other health concerns to factor in

While research continues to show some connection between heart disease and oral health, it’s important to acknowledge that the population studied had other factors that increased their risk of cardiovascular disease, including:

• Smoking
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Obesity
• Poor diet

The bottom line

While there appears to be a link between oral hygiene and heart disease, more research is needed to understand it.

There is no evidence to show that good dental hygiene can prevent heart disease, however, taking care of your teeth and gums is an important part of your daily regime that will aid in lowering your risk of gum disease and infection.

For optimum oral health, Yankee Valley Dental recommends:

• Brush your teeth at least twice a day
• Floss daily
• See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings

At Yankee Valley Dental Clinic, our mission is to reduce the barriers that are often associated with seeing your dentist. We strive to make your visit the kind of experience that is enjoyable, comfortable, and friendly. Get in touch with our caring staff today for your dental needs.