When you think about oral hygiene, it’s easy to assume that it only impacts the health of your teeth and gums. However, poor oral hygiene has a more widespread impact on your body than you might think. In fact, people who don’t keep up with their oral health can develop a higher risk of heart disease.
The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Gum disease is linked to heart disease, making oral hygiene an essential practice for keeping your heart healthy. People who have moderate or advanced gum disease are at a heightened risk for heart disease than those who don’t have gum disease.
But why exactly are gum disease and heart disease connected? The answer comes down to bacteria. Bacteria in your mouth can transfer to other areas of your body through your blood. If your blood carries bacteria from your mouth to your heart, it can cause complications. The bacteria may create inflammation in damaged tissue in the heart, potentially causing heart conditions including:
- Endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining
- Atherosclerosis, which is a condition involving clogged arteries
- Stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts or becomes blocked
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can prevent gum disease and the heightened risk of heart disease that it’s linked to. Basic practices to maintain the health of your teeth and gums include:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
- Flossing every day
- Going to your dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months
If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, contact Lowry & Obrochta Dentistry today to schedule an appointment. Receiving prompt treatment for signs of gum disease can help you get back on track and regain your oral health.