Oral Hygiene and heart health

Oral Hygiene and Heart Health

Is It True That Junk Food Will Affect My Heart Health?

Here we are in February, American Heart Month, a time designated to focus on our heart health.

Studies in recent years have shown a relationship between heart and oral health.

One such study focused on eating junk food coupled with poor mouth hygiene, resulting in a higher risk of premature heart disease.

Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine studied whether higher added sugar intake is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. 

They concluded that most adults in our country consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet.

They observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease mortality.

This study is rather interesting. We have known for a long time that the consequences of excess sugar are detrimental. These extremes cause obesity, fat around the middle, and something called metabolic syndrome. These unfortunate results are the forerunners to diabetes and a host of other issues that lead to cardiac events.

The JAMA study has shown a direct relationship between sugar and coronary artery disease. 

From the dental perspective, periodontal disease will result if a person has poor oral health and consumes a lot of sugar. The supporting bone around the teeth may be destroyed as well. A chronic infection in the mouth will produce an inflammatory response that can cause atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries), leading to heart disease. 

Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early on can help prevent heart problems later in life.

You can manage your oral health easily by brushing daily after eating, flossing at least once a day, replacing your toothbrush every three months (if the bristles become frayed, then sooner), and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. 

A Risk of Infective Endocarditis

Another heart concern from poor oral hygiene is that it allows harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream, especially during activities like brushing and flossing when the gums may bleed. This can lead to infective endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining or valves.

While the risk of infective endocarditis is low, individuals with pre-existing heart conditions may be more susceptible.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly For Better Overall Health

Our patients, who are seen regularly, benefit from better health and better means to combat disease. Our hygiene team removes harmful plaque and hard build-up from your teeth that sits around your gums. The plaque is filled with bacteria, directly causing disease and bad breath. Now we know it also has an impact on your heart health.

The weather has been a little better the past couple of weeks, and thoughts of Spring and renewal are on my mind. What better time to call us and schedule a cleaning to brighten your smile and enhance your health?

Please call us at 440.951.7856 and ask Nicole or Jamie to schedule you for this important visit. I look forward to meeting you.

Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.

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