How to Know if You are at Risk
In Part One, we discussed the correlation between good oral hygiene and cardiovascular health. To know how this might affect you, it is important to understand what factors may put you at risk. Inadequate oral hygiene, under any circumstances, can cause a buildup of plaque, accumulating as a biofilm, which will put you at risk for gum disease, tooth loss, and blood vessel inflammation – even in the absence of visible gum inflammation.
Individuals with chronic gum conditions, like gingivitis, or advanced periodontal disease, automatically have an increased risk for vascular disease and adverse cardiac events caused by poor oral health. It goes without saying, if you fall into either of these categories, it is imperative to visit your dentist regularly.
According to cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic, small microorganisms, which are incorporated in the biofilm that can form on your teeth, break free and migrate into your bloodstream causing an elevation of a bio marker called C-reactive protein. This is an indication that you are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, as well as inflammation throughout the vascular system.
There are multiple studies that indicate poor oral hygiene (failure to prevent formation of that biofilm), leads to inflammation throughout the body. It is caused by a chain reaction that begins with poor oral hygiene, leads to bacteria traveling through your bloodstream, followed by your body’s immune response, which includes the inflammatory response. This leads to the inflammation which is a known cause for adverse health issues.
Brushing and Flossing More Often
While the newest study indicates lower risk of Afib and heart failure is associated with brushing three or more times daily, the authors caution that it may be too early to formally recommend brushing your teeth as a preventative measure to fight cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, the evidence seems to be mounting that inflammation from all sources is a defining factor in the occurrence of heart disease.
The recommendation from the American Dental Association (ADA) is to brush your teeth at least twice daily, and floss at least once per day. Brushing technique is also important. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes using a soft-bristle brush that reaches into all areas of your mouth with ease. Use a good quality, ADA-accepted toothpaste, and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
Schedule a Professional Dental Cleaning at Chicago Beautiful Smiles
If you are interested in your overall health, don’t neglect your oral hygiene – it may have a bigger effect on other aspects of your health than you realize. Seeing your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and thorough examination is a good way to keep tabs on your oral health and maybe prevent heart disease as well.
While our team of dental experts has earned a reputation for excellence in cosmetic dentistry in Glenview, IL, we are also dedicated to providing superior general dentistry services to all our valued patients. We invite you to contact us for more information or to book an appointment today.