How Dental Health Can Impact Your Heart

Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and most people know a lot of the risk factors that can contribute to heart disease. But did you know that the health of your mouth might affect the health of your heart?

Though not all dental health is firmly linked to heart health, there are enough links to say with confidence that you should take care of your mouth to take care of your heart. Each part of the body is connected, and what’s going on in your mouth affects your heart more than you might realize.

Gum disease and heart health

Some studies have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Periodontal disease increases inflammation burden on the body, and long-term inflammation in the body contributes to many types of disease, including heart disease.

Your gums are full of blood vessels, and when those blood vessels are damaged, bacteria can make its way into your bloodstream. That bacteria can then travel to the heart and get caught up in the plaque in your arteries. Some of the types of bacteria that are associated with gum disease are also associated with strokes. If bad gum health is left unchecked, it can spread throughout your body over time. 

Tooth brushing frequency and heart disease

Poor oral health and lack of tooth brushing can also worsen blood pressure and even interfere with hypertension medication. In some cases bad oral health can even worsen heart valve infections.

Oral health doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Just like any of the other systems of your body, your mouth affects everything else. Neglecting your oral health not only impacts your teeth and gums, but it could eventually impact your heart as well. 

Though your dentist and your cardiologist may not practice the same discipline, they’ll probably have the same advice for you: take care of your teeth and gums. Brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for checkups and cleanings to stay on top of your oral health. Your overall health depends on it.

If you’re worried about your risk for heart disease or are looking for a specialist to manage an existing heart condition, make an appointment with one of our Oklahoma Heart Hospital physicians today.