Poor Oral Hygiene and Heart Problems

Poor Oral Hygiene and Heart ProblemsBrushing your teeth can keep your smile clean, healthy and looking good. Good oral hygiene may have far more extensive benefits to your health, however. Numerous studies have linked gum disease, which is directly linked to poor dental hygiene, with an increased risk of heart disease. Researchers have theorized that gum disease triggers a systemic inflammatory response that is largely responsible for that increased risk.

The Journal of Periodontology recently reported that those who have severe periodontal disease, which can result in a receding gumline, tooth loss and bone deterioration, have high levels of C-reactive protein, particularly compared to those who are in good dental health. Gum disease is ultimately an infection caused by oral bacteria. Your body produces C-reactive protein in response to this infection and the protein is believed to be involved in the buildup of arterial plaque,  which can break loose and block the arteries of the heart.

Although good dental hygiene may not be able to protect you from a heart attack, it may be able to help reduce your overall risk. Brushing after meals and flossing daily are just a start. Eating a healthy diet can also provide the nutrients you need for tooth and gum health. If you smoke, quitting can benefit your gums and your heart. Visit our dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.

If you currently have heart disease, talk to our dentist about any preventative steps you may need before dental treatments. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our dentist in Northridge.

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