Links Between Heart Disease and Your Oral Health
IF YOU’RE LIKE THE REST OF DR. SALEH’S PATIENTS HERE AT OUR PRACTICE, you want to take the very best care of your heart, right? Of course! Did you know that your toothbrush helps you fight heart disease everyday!? Well, it’s true! According to Dr. Saleh, “There many recent studies that link gum disease—and other oral health issues—DIRECTLY to heart problems.”
A recent study by the American Academy of Periodontology showed that people are twice as likely to have heart disease if they have periodontal disease. Another study found that other oral health problems like missing teeth, cavities and gingivitis are just as good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels! Surprising, huh!?
There are other theories that revolve around your body’s defenses against bacteria, including the natural response of inflammation. Oral bacteria traveling through your bloodstream can cause blood cells to swell, which can lead to narrowing of arteries and clot risks.
Evidence of these connections is mounting each year, though there is still much more to be learned. Dr. Saleh adds, “It has been proven that the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream through your gums. These same bacteria
have been found clumped up in artery plaques and stuck to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream, which can directly contribute to blockages.”
Though the EXACT relationship between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease are still unclear, there is definitely a connection. However, DON’T ignore all of the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy! Make sure to keep eating healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
Be sure to contact Dr. Saleh if you have any other questions or want to clear up any periodontal issues you might have. What have you got to lose!?
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