The Link Between Oral Health & Heart Disease

heart diseaseMaintaining a healthy mouth doesn’t only guarantee fresh breath and a set of sparkling teeth. Bacteria are present in the mouth, so skipping oral hygiene efforts like brushing and flossing can cause them to build up. Dental experts say that oral health can provide clues about your overall health, as well.

The Main Causes of Periodontal Disease

Sparkle Dental Joondalup notes that poor oral hygiene and a weak immune system aren’t the only causes of periodontal disease. Plaque can easily stick to the teeth if you smoke or chew tobacco. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and certain medications, like steroids and oral contraceptives, can increase your sensitivity to plaque. In addition, regardless of how healthy you are, your genes might put you at higher risk.

How Oral Health may Affect Your Overall Health

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology revealed that people with periodontal disease increases the risk of contracting systemic diseases, like cardiovascular disease. The mouth can be the leading cause of the chronic or permanent release of toxic components in the body.

Bacteria in infected gums can move throughout the body and enter the bloodstream when brushing, flossing, or chewing. If you have periodontal disease, there’s a chance that the same bacteria might travel to your arteries. Research shows that the risks depend on the level of infection. In a worst-case scenario, it can become blood-borne.

After reaching the arteries, bacteria can accumulate and irritate the cardiac muscle tissues. This causes arterial plaque, which affects proper blood flow. Poor blood flow to the cardiovascular system can lead to a heart attack. Moreover, if this happens to the brain, you can suffer from a stroke.

The importance of oral hygiene doesn’t only focus on keeping a healthy teeth and gums. By taking care of your oral health, you take care of your overall health, as well.