Did you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.
We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing combined with annual check-ups will help to fight the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease. Check out these oral hygiene facts and make sure to establish a routine to ensure a great smile and a healthy life.
According to the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Eating healthy snacks like celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
- The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
- Nearly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
- Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases and oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
- Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in teens than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
- Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.
Issues that go untreated can end up costing a lot more than routine visits to your dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Remember, regardless of how old you are, it’s never too late to start taking serious care of your teeth and mouth.