Good Dental Hygiene Important for Heart Health
Here is yet another reason to brush at least twice and floss at least once every day: Researchers report that periodontal (gum) disease caused by poor oral hygiene can not only result in pain and tooth loss, but it also can lead to heart disease and stroke.1,2
People with gum disease have nearly double the risk for heart disease as those with healthy gums, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Gum infection also is more prevalent in people who suffer a certain type of stroke.1
Researchers don’t yet know exactly how gum disease affects heart health. Bacteria from infected gums may enter the blood and attach to fatty plaque in the heart’s blood vessels. Or, the inflammation from gum disease may increase plaque buildup.1
In heart disease, fatty proteins build up and thicken the walls of the arteries and can lead to restricted blood flow. This may then lead to a heart attack or stroke.1
1 “Gum Disease Links to Heart Disease and Stroke.”American Academy of Periodontology. www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.heart.htm Accessed 2010.
2 “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.” American Dental Association, April 2006. www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_61.pdf Accessed 2010.
American Academy of Periodontologyhttp://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.heart.htm
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
Date Last Reviewed:
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The views represented by this article are that of the author and not of Delta Dental. This article is provided for information only. Please consult with a licensed dentist to discuss the best way for you to improve or maintain your oral health.
In all cases, specific group contract provisions, benefits, limitations and exclusions take precedence over oral health recommendations given here. We recommend that you contact your dental benefits carrier to determine the specific limitations and exclusions for your group.