How Oral Health Habits That Can Affect Your Heart?

How Oral Health Habits That Can Affect Your Heart?

Some of the things you do to your mouth every day can affect the health of your heart. This causes bacteria to penetrate the bloodstream from the teeth which are usually coated with plaque. These bacteria can circulate through the bloodstream and go to the lungs, heart, and arteries.

How Are Oral Health and Heart Health Connected?

Gum diseases and heart diseases share a common link in how bacteria from the mouth can affect the rest of the body. If these bacteria get into the heart, then they can cause inflammation. This can lead to conditions like endocarditis which is an infection of the inner surface of the heart.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

According to the American Association of Periodontology, you may have gum disease if:

  • In your case, your gums are red, swollen and they are sore.
  • Your gums become swollen and red, and they bleed when you eat, brush, or floss.
  • You notice that there is pus formation around the gums and teeth.
  • Your gums appear to be “pulling away” from the teeth.
  • You have a foul smell in your mouth or get a feeling of a bad taste now and then.
  • Your teeth are not well-aligned and some of them are wobbly or appear to be shifting.

Currently, over 80% of the American population suffers from periodontal or gum disease yet, many of these people have no idea. This is because people do not go to the dentist if they feel that their teeth are healthy. People hardly spend time talking to the physician about their oral health.

Oral Health and Its Link with Heart Disease

There are two important connections between oral health and heart disease. First, if you have moderate or advanced gum disease, the chances of developing heart disease are higher than those with a healthy mouth. Second, your oral health can reveal signs that doctors will warn of other diseases in the heart.

Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk

Monitor Blood Pressure

Hypertension is an important risk factor for heart disease. This is because gum disease and heart disease share inflammation as a risk factor. It is crucial to have heart tests and blood pressure checkups, which can be conducted sometimes at the dentist’s offices.

Follow the 2-1-2 Rule.

One should brush the teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day, and attend oral dental health check-ups at least twice per year. Dentists can diagnose and prevent some types of diseases like caries and hypertension.

Identify Concerning Symptoms

Look for signs of pain or discomfort in the chest, arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. Inform a physician about these symptoms to avoid heart-related complications like stroke or cardiac arrest.

Clean Up Your Diet

There are sources of foods that contain potassium and magnesium that reduce blood pressure including green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and wild salmon. Cutting down on the consumption of salt is also beneficial in people who have high blood pressure.

Quit Tobacco

Smoking affects all parts, from as simple as having oral odor to life-threatening diseases such as diabetes. Smoking cessation helps reduce blood pressure and the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. It takes approximately two weeks to slowly restore circulation and lung function. In 3–6 years without smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.

Protecting Your Oral Health

To protect your oral health, take care of your mouth every day:

  • Clean your teeth for not less than 2 minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride paste in the morning and before retiring to bed. Brush your tongue too.
  • Brush your teeth regularly using floss or water pick.
  • Maintain a Balancing diet, and avoid taking too much sugar.
  • You must change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Have a professional cleaning and examination every 6 months at the very least. However, according to your circumstances, more frequent visits might be required.

It is important to know how to take care of our teeth and hearts to avoid problems in the future. To get more professional advice on oral health, visit Smiley Kids Dental.

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