Brushing and flossing your teeth not only benefits your pearly whites it also decreases your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Worldwide there are many scientific studies linking poor oral hygiene with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Several different studies conducted by cardiologists (heart specialists) and periodontists (gum disease specialists) now suggest that there are several connections between dental health and heart disease. Many other studies reveal that people who have suffered heart attacks, need transplants or other heart surgery are much more likely to have dental problems.
Furthermore experts are also now linking periodontal (gum) disease with other chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, and cardiovascular (heart) disease.
People with poor oral hygiene and periodontal(gum) disease also tested positive for bloodstream inflammatory markers. Inflammation plays a major role in the onset of atherosclerosis (blocked arteries). The implication is that gum infections seem to add to the inflammatory burden on individuals, increasing cardiovascular risk.
Another intriguing American study suggested that people with gum disease were almost twice as likely to have heart disease. In addition they found that the presence of common problems in the mouth, including gingivitis, cavities and missing teeth were as good as predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels!
In addition, another connection between dental health and heart disease is the theory that tooth loss may actually change the diet and cause poorer cardiovascular health from that perspective. Missing teeth or loose dentures may mean a softer, unbalanced low fibre diet ( lack of crunchy fruit and veges) It is therefore important to get replacement teeth or crowns if you lose a tooth.
The moral of the story is… brush and floss daily, see your dental hygienist for a 6 monthly professional clean, replace missing teeth as soon as you can and you will go a long way towards having happy gums and a happy heart!