Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and there are several common risk factors we know of that can contribute to heart disease. But did you know that the health of your mouth might affect the health of your heart?
The bacteria that travel from your mouth into your bloodstream can also cause elevated C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. This can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, found a Cleveland Clinic study.
According to Mayo Clinic, this spread of bacteria — and other germs — from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream, can result in illnesses such as endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart.
While numerous studies have been conducted examining the link between poor oral hygiene and heart illness, conclusive evidence regarding the same is yet not available. Whether the link is direct, indirect, or coincidental, a healthy mouth and a regimen to keep it that way (including not smoking and getting regular dental care) can help you keep your oral health in check. Making your oral health a priority can grant you a ton of other benefits, too.
While we wait for more studies on the link between oral health and overall health, it is advisable to keep brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are the best way to protect yourself against gum disease development. If you must begin now, the most important steps you can take to maintain good oral health (including prevention of tooth decay or cavities) are: