Does poor dental hygiene impact your heart health?

Poor Dental hygene
Tracey Romero

Research has linked gum disease to an increased risk for heart disease, as well as a connection between tooth loss and coronary artery disease. Poor dental health has also been shown to increase the risk for blood bacterial infections and levels of inflammation in the body.

Is there a connection between your oral health and your heart health? A potential one, yes, but more research is needed to confirm a direct relationship between poor dental hygiene and heart health risks.

Links have been found between gum disease and an increased risk for heart disease, as well as a connection between tooth loss and coronary artery disease. Poor dental health has also been shown to increase the risk for blood bacterial infections and levels of inflammation in the body.

One study presented at the 2018 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago discovered that those study participants who brushed less than two minutes, twice a day, had a three-times greater risk of having or dying from a heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those who brushed at least twice a day for at least two minutes.

The study’s lead researcher Dr. Shogo Matsui, who is a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences at Hiroshima University in Japan, however, said that the study was not designed to prove a causal relationship between brushing your teeth longer and better heart health.

Dr. Ann Bolger, a cardiologist and professor of medicine emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco told the American Heart Association,” It is possible that people who are very attentive to their dental health are also very attentive to other aspects of their health.”

She did add that there is enough scientific evidence to point to a possible connection. She explained that gum disease is a condition where the body may be in a sort of continual state of inflammation, and this seems to be a very powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease.

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