Links Between Toothbrushes And Heart Disease

IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST OF OUR VALUED PATIENTS, you want to take the very best care of your heart, right? Of course you do! Did you know that your lowly toothbrush probably ranks right up there with your gym membership and healthy cookbooks in keeping your heart healthy? Well, it’s true!

According to Dr. Faustino, “There are a number of recent studies that suggest gum disease—and other oral health issues—are directly related to heart problems.”

In a recent study from The American Academy of Periodontology, it’s reported that if you have periodontal disease you are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease. Another study found that common oral health problems, including gingivitis, missing teeth, and/or cavities are as good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels.

While there’s still a lot to learn about these connections, the evidence seems to be mounting each year. Dr. Faustino agrees that we know bacteria in our mouths can enter the bloodstream through our gums. Since these same bacteria have been found clumped up in artery plaques, we know some connections can be made. One theory that is gaining acceptance is that they stick to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream which can directly contribute to blockages.

Several other theories revolve around your body’s defenses against bacteria, including the natural response of inflammation. Oral bacteria traveling through your bloodstream can cause blood cells to swell, which can lead to narrowing of arteries and clot risks.

We know the exact relationships between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease are still unclear, but today’s research has concluded there’s definitely a connection. Of course, don’t think you can just brush your teeth and ignore all of the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Keep eating healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

And, when it’s so easy to have us help you clear up any periodontal disease problems… Be sure to do that too! It makes good common sense! Prevention always goes a long way in avoiding more serious problems in the future.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask. We love visiting with you—our friends and patients. Don’t forget to become a fan of our Facebook site and follow us on Twitter… We’d love to hear from you there too!

We look forward to your next visit and hope you are all having a great holiday season!

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