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How Are Oral Health and Heart Health Related?

Posted on March 30, 2023

Maintaining your overall health is essential for enjoying a long, active life. While exercise and eating right are often mentioned when discussing heart health, recent evidence shows that oral health may also play a role in preventing heart disease. Maintaining a clean, healthy mouth has significant a significant impact on your quality of life — from physical to mental to social, your oral health needs to be taken care of.

Many people assume basic brushing and flossing are enough to preserve their oral health. However, everyone can enjoy improved oral health with regular dental cleanings and cosmetic services. Regular diagnostic and preventative dental services can dramatically improve your teeth, gums and quality of life. Trust the dental experts at 209 NYC Dental to restore your teeth and gums and give you the healthy mouth you’ve always wanted.

Medical research is constantly evolving and expanding — recent studies show a potential connection between oral hygiene and heart health. Learn more about the relationship between your teeth and heart with this article.

The Relationship Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Research is still ongoing, but recent studies suggest that there is a link between teeth and heart health. While we have yet to find the component that connects bad teeth and heart disease, experts are finding that inflammation from gum disease can precede heart conditions like strokes and heart attacks. One study found a correlation between tooth loss and heart disease, suggesting one might contribute to the other.

While you might think your heart and mouth have little effect on each other, science shows that they may be more connected than we assumed. While more research is being done to examine this evidence, it is still more important than ever to take care of your teeth. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in America, it is essential we do whatever we can to prevent it. Taking good care of your teeth regularly takes only a few minutes a day — and those few minutes of oral care can potentially decrease your risk of heart disease.

Bacteria Traveling from Teeth to the Heart

One theory about the connection between tooth decay and heart disease involves mouth bacteria. When bacteria from food is allowed to sit on your teeth, it can infect your gums, leading to periodontitis and gingivitis. The theory suggests that once bacteria get into your gums, they work their way into your blood vessels. These blood vessels travel throughout the body and back to your heart. Bacteria that latches onto your blood vessels could lead to blood vessel inflammation, strokes, heart attacks and blood clots.

Additionally, bad teeth might cause heart problems due to inflammation. When your body detects this bacteria in your gums and blood vessels, your immune system responds by creating inflammation. If you experience chronic inflammation, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Extended inflammation periods can lead to blood vessel irritation and plaque growth. When plaque loosens, it can cause blood clots, which can block an artery to the brain or heart and cause a stroke or heart attack.

Keeping your gums and teeth clean prevents the spread of bacteria and inflammation, keeping your heart and body healthy. Along with brushing your teeth, you can prevent inflammation with exercise, heart-healthy diets, weight maintenance and quitting smoking. All these prevention methods work together to keep your heart, body and teeth healthy long-term.

The Effects of Smoking

While research suggests that there is a link between oral health and heart disease, the connection could be the result of another factor. Smoking could be the third factor contributing to teeth issues and heart disease. Smoking significantly increases your risk of heart disease, leading to plaque build-up in your arteries, which may cause heart attacks and strokes.

Smoking, chewing or using tobacco can cause tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease and oral cancer. Smoking harms your tooth, gum and lung health, leading to severe health complications as you age. Vaping and other chemicals in e-cigarettes can also contribute to periodontal disease. Tooth decay, gum disease and plaque build-up caused by smoking might all play a role in the risk of heart disease. If you have poor oral hygiene and smoke, it could lead to heart disease later on.

Whether there is a direct link between your teeth health and heart disease or another factor like smoking is causing both mouth and heart issues in people, you should take care of your teeth. You can help prevent gum and heart issues by quitting smoking and focusing on building healthy habits. Additionally, you will only improve your oral health by quitting smoking and decreasing your gum and heart disease risk.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

To avoid bad teeth and heart disease, you have to start taking care of your teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and oral infections. Keep your heart healthy and your teeth happy with good, regular tooth care. Investing in your mouth will save you dental and medical bills down the road while helping you enjoy your teeth for a long time.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day to help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to regular, attentive brushing, you should floss at least once daily to remove food between your teeth and prevent gum disease. With research suggesting a link between gum disease and heart health, you should take care of your gums and watch out for the signs of gum disease to prevent further issues.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Sunken teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Bite changes
  • Bleeding and tender gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Constant bad breath

You should visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and gum checks. A qualified dentist will be able to evaluate your teeth for signs of gum disease and help you catch it early. The earlier you find gum disease, the easier treatment will be. Scheduled cleanings will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay and will keep your smile fresh and bright.

Stay On Top of Your Oral Health With 209 NYC Dental

While maintaining your teeth at home is vital to keeping your mouth clean and healthy, regular cleanings at the dentist are also essential for oral health. Dentists can provide you with a more complete oral cleaning and advise you on the best habits and strategies for preventing tooth and gum issues.

At 209 NYC Dental, we offer expert, lasting dental care for all our clients. Our Midtown Manhattan location allows you to quickly and conveniently get your dental needs met in New York City without the stress of traveling. From cosmetic dentistry to clear braces, dental cleanings and more, we can provide the high-quality dental services you need.

With flexible payment options and free consultations with our staff, you can restore your teeth and keep your mouth healthy for years easily. To get started, contact us online and book your appointment today!

About Dr. Steven Kafko

Guided by the belief that being a highly skilled specialist in a narrow field is better than being ordinary in everything Dr. Kafko has grown 209 NYC Dental into one of the leading NYC multi-specialty dental practices that it is today. Having extensive cross-specialty training with decades of experience, and strive to provide his patients with the most appropriate dental care Dr. Kafko succeeded in becoming an excellent diagnostic dentist. His skills to triage the most comprehensive dental treatment that a patient may require are highly appreciated by patients and his colleagues.

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