Oral Care and Your Heart

As Valentine’s Day approaches and you take time to think about your loved ones, it’s also a good idea to think about the health of your heart.

Most people are aware that a healthy diet and regular exercise are important to maintaining a healthy heart, but not everyone realizes that oral care plays a role in keeping your heart in good condition. Unfortunately, heart disease is a major cause of death in the United States as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tell us that one of every four deaths is the result of heart disease.

What do the studies say?

Numerous studies conducted in recent years suggest that there is a direct link between gum disease and heart disease. Researchers have a few theories on how gum disease can increase the risk for heart disease. One of the most widely believed theories is that the bacteria from infected gums enters the bloodstream to contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries which can harm the heart.

The good news is that good oral hygiene helps prevent gum disease, which in turn, cuts the risk of developing problems like heart disease and stroke. Take great care of your oral health by:

• Brushing your teeth after meals and before bedtime

• Flossing your teeth once per day, preferably before bedtime

• Visiting your dentist twice a year for checkups

• Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and avoiding snacks full of sugar and empty carbs

As you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with your special someone, remember to take good care of your smile and your heart!