The Link Between Dental Health and Heart Disease

The Link Between Dental Health and Heart Disease

One of the main reasons people get into fitness is to reduce the risk of heart disease and other ailments, such as diabetes, organ failure and COPD. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in older people, and your cardiovascular health should be at the forefront of your health journey. There are many ways in which you can reduce your risk of heart disease – by eating plenty of heart-healthy foods and getting plenty of exercises. However, improving your dental health could also go a long way when it comes to preventing heart disease. People with periodontal issues are 2-3 times more likely to develop heart issues, such as having a heart attack or stroke. Preventing gum disease and improving your oral health may prevent you from having significant cardiovascular issues in the future. 

What is Heart Disease? 

Coronary heart disease is a serious condition, and unfortunately, it is all too common. It involves the blood vessels supplying the heart becoming blocked or narrowed. It does not always have obvious symptoms but can cause angina and in serious cases heart attacks. The main treatments for heart disease involve lifestyle changes and medicines. 

Heart disease

Heart disease is often caused by living an unhealthy lifestyle, either by smoking, not exercising or having an unhealthy diet. However, medical researchers have found a link between bad oral health and heart disease. If you develop gum disease, you are at a significantly higher chance of also developing heart disease. But why is this, and what can you do to prevent it?

How Can Your Oral Health Affect Your Chances Of Developing Heart Disease? 

Heart disease and gum disease have a lot in common. Gum disease begins when a sticky, bacterial film called plaque builds up on the teeth. This is usually remedied by brushing regularly and limiting foods which create plaque, however, plaque can still build up on the teeth. Heart disease also follows a similar route, as a different form of plaque made up of fat, cholesterol and calcium forms inside the arteries. However, there may not be a direct link between the two. Plenty of people with cardiovascular issues have perfect teeth, and plenty of people with gum disease have no heart issues. It could merely be a matter of shared risk factors. For example, a bad diet and smoking can affect both your oral health and your heart health. 

Oral health

However, researchers have found an ‘inflammation link’ between heart and gum disease. Periodontal disease increases the body’s burden of inflammation, which can increase the number of cells in your body that can attack irritants and microbial invaders. In the short term, this can promote your body’s natural healing. However long-term chronic inflammation can contribute to many health problems in the future, especially heart disease. In simple terms, gum disease can lead to inflammation which can increase your chance of developing heart disease. Quelling gum disease can significantly contribute to heart disease. 

What Can You Do To Improve Your Oral Health?

There are many ways in which you can protect your teeth from developing gum disease. For example, regularly cleaning your teeth twice a day can help prevent the development of gum disease. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day – before you eat anything and after you’ve finished eating everything you will that day, with fluoride toothpaste. Don’t rinse the toothpaste off, as leaving the toothpaste on will act as a barrier to protect your teeth. 

Using floss and interdental brushes is one of the best things you can do in order to combat plaque buildup. This is because plaque can often build up between the spaces of the teeth, and flossing can make sure your teeth are a lot cleaner. A prominent dentist Solihull based has recommended changing your toothbrush as often as every month, depending on how severely you brush your teeth. However, toothbrushes should be changed at least every 3 months. Seeing a dentist regularly can also help find early problems with your teeth such as developing cavities, meaning you can fix them a lot more quickly. 

Teeth and Heart

Looking after your oral health could significantly decrease your chances of developing heart disease. As well as eating a healthy diet and exercising, you should also brush your teeth often and see a dentist regularly in order to make your health the best it can be.