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Dental & Oral Health Guide

Christine Jeffries

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Dental Hygiene and Heart Health

By dkonig
 
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Good dental hygiene may aid in heart health
MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

If dental and oral maladies plague your health, you might be at risk for another major problem.

Our heart health is impacted by our oral health.

While researchers are still debating whether one causes the other, a strong correlation has been found. There is a link between oral and heart health, according to those conducting the various research projects.

Periodontitis is the leading cause of bacteria that, when released into the blood stream, can cause heart trouble.

According to information published in the Harvard Heart Letter:

“In people with periodontitis (erosion of tissue and bone that support the teeth), chewing and toothbrushing release bacteria into the bloodstream. Several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque in arteries in the heart and elsewhere. This plaque can lead to heart attack …”

In addition, inflammation of the gums may cause inflammation elsewhere in the body. In the same publication, researchers say:

“Oral bacteria could also harm blood vessels or cause blood clots by releasing toxins that resemble proteins found in artery walls or the bloodstream … inflammation in the mouth revs up inflammation throughout the body, including in the arteries, where it can lead to heart attack and stroke.”

Inflammation in one area of the body (the gums in this case) may cause the body to react in such a way that it creates inflammation in other areas of the body (such as the heart).

A study conducted in Finland, and published by the American Dental Association “found that a poor oral health diagnosis was a stronger predictor of heart disease than were other markers, such as high levels of the clotting factor fibrinogen, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or high triglycerides.”

In the study, researchers looked at the connection between heart disease and having dental and oral issues.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Marielaina Perrone DDS Blogger

Thanks for sharing. Dental care and dental hygiene is most definitely linked to systemic processes like heart disease. There is too much research now bringing it all together.

December 19, 2012 - 9:53pm
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