Learn more about SCL Health's Heart and Vascular Care
It may surprise you to learn that there is a correlation between your oral hygiene and the health of your heart. While the precise causes for this relationship are unknown, patients with gum disease and poor oral health are often at higher risk of developing heart disease.
"Keeping your heart in shape is more than just exercising and eating healthy," says Moumita Naidu, MD, a Cardiologist at SCL Heart & Vascular Institute - Wheat Ridge. Dr. Naidu adds, "Simple steps in your daily routine like brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly helps keep your heart healthy and well."
Why might oral hygiene affect heart disease?
Bacteria is at the root of most oral health and gum diseases. Germs and bacteria enter your mouth and eventually make their way into your bloodstream. And when certain bacteria reach the heart, they can cause inflammation or infection, resulting in heart conditions like endocarditis.
Who is at risk?
Patients with chronic or untreated gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease place their cardiac health at higher risk.
Some common early signs of gum disease:
- Red, swollen, and sore to the touch gums
- Bleeding when you eat, brush, or floss
- Liquid or infection around gums and teeth
- Receding gum line pulling away from teeth
- Bad breath or taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
Protect and prevent
Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, flossing, and regular dental checkups are the best way to protect yourself and improve your oral hygiene.
Remember, being proactive and maintaining good oral health can lower your risk of heart disease and give you more confidence. And that should keep you smiling from ear to ear. Happy brushing and flossing out there.
Dr. Moumita Naidu is a board-certified cardiologist at SCL Health Heart & Vascular Institute, serving Wheat Ridge and Front Range communities. Learn more or make an appointment today.