A lot of people talk about the difference between your head and your heart. But did you know that they are actually more closely linked than you might think? While the health of your mouth might seem worlds away from the health of your heart, you might be surprised to know that the two are actually linked. Read on to find out what impact your mouth health might have on your heart health, and what you can do to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Can the Health of Your Mouth Impact Your Heart?
While the link is not absolutely clear, doctors say there could very well be a connection between your oral health and your heart health. Lots of research is being done to understand this potential correlation better, but as of now it is still a bit hazy. Still, the more it is studied, the closer we are to figuring out the truth.
One thing that researchers are looking into is the link between gum disease, known as periodontitis, and heart issues. Interestingly, a link may have been found as the Mayo Clinic explains, “…people with chronic gum disease have increased thickness of their neck blood vessels.” This is yet another clue in the mystery of what impact our teeth have on our hearts.
But why does the health of your mouth cause potential heart problems? For that answer, we turn to Colgate’s Oral Care Center blog, “The bacteria that are associated with gum infection are in the mouth and can enter the blood stream, where they attach to the blood vessels and increase your risk to cardiovascular disease.” If you let bacteria to multiply on your teeth, you might be leaving yourself at risk of that bacteria traveling to other parts of your body. Don’t worry, we’ll give you some tips to keep your mouth as healthy as possible at the end of this article.
Even though scientists are debating on the ways that oral health can cause a negative impact on your heart, it’s pretty clear that there is some link. We know that all of our systems are connected, and so a connection between your teeth and heart isn’t a far out idea.
How Healthy Are You?
While the research into your oral health and heart health continues, some people have a different theory about the mouth’s impact on the heart. This group tends to think that poor oral health does not lead to heart problems, but it can predict it. This makes a lot of sense, because if you do not take great care of your teeth, it probably indicates that you are not taking the best care of yourself in other ways. So while taking lackluster care of your teeth may not directly create a heart issue, it can certainly be a tipoff to your doctor that other issues may be present.If you notice yourself slacking on your dental care, you might want to think about what other areas of your health you are also letting slide. Everyone gets busy, and lots of people are so busy taking care of other people that they forget to take care of themselves. You’re never too busy to keep yourself healthy, and one simple way to get back on track is to boost your dental hygiene.
How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
It’s absolutely critical to ensure you maintain excellent oral hygiene whether it impacts the health of your heart or not. The health of your mouth can impact so many things in your life such as your confidence in the way your teeth look, your ability to eat foods without pain, and the possible infections or diseases you can get when you don’t take care of your teeth.
Here are some important ways to keep your mouth healthy:
1. Brush your teeth regularly – You should brush your teeth at least twice a day (each morning and night) to ensure that the plaque and bacteria do not build up on your teeth and gums.
2. Floss – Everyone hates this step, but it really can help! Food can easily get lodged in your teeth, and flossing frees that before it can start to break down and cause problems.
3. Eat good foods – Certain foods can really cause damage to your teeth and mouth. Avoiding foods that can corrode your teeth or stain them can cause mouth problems.
4. Visit your dentist – No one knows your teeth better than your dentist. Visiting your dentist regularly can really help ensure your mouth stays healthy.
Keeping yourself healthy is an everyday commitment. You need to create a regular health maintenance routine that works for you, and keeping your mouth healthy needs to be an important part of that routine. Your mouth health is important on its own, but with more and more research being done into its impact on the rest of your body, it might just be more important than you ever thought before.
So keep those pearly whites shining bright!
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