According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. for both men and women. With statistics like that, now is the perfect time to start looking for ways to reduce our chances of developing the disease. Taking care of our mouths is an easy place to start.
So how are the two connected? Gum disease, which is a bacterial infection, roughly doubles the risk that a person will suffer from heart disease. Bacteria in the mouth can migrate into the bloodstream and form small blood clots that can contribute to the clogging of arteries. Inflammation from gum disease can also lead to the buildup of fatty deposits inside the heart arteries.
The connection can also go the other way, with heart disease treatment contributing to gum disease. Certain heart disease drugs can cause dry mouth, increased plaque or enlarged gum tissue. These conditions can lead to gum infections that makes heart disease and gum disease a two-way street.
Regular brushing and flossing helps keep your gums healthy and can help decrease your risk for heart disease. Above all, visit your dentist for regular checkups. Those who are prone to cardiac disorders should visit their doctor regularly, and take medicine as prescribed. Follow your doctor’s advice and take proper care of your physical and oral health. You may make your heart smile too.