In medicine, there’s often a connection between different body parts and systems. Some of them are connected because they come from the same line of embryonic cells. In other cases, the relationship is associated with how the body works, and sometimes we discover a link between organs for a yet-unknown reason.
In any case, medical science has found an “unusual connection” between your oral health and your heart health. So, be extra careful if you see this in the sink because it could mean you are at increased risk for heart disease!
If Your Gums Bleed, Your Heart Could Be at Risk
An editorial in the journal, Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, showed how science has been suggesting a link between oral health and heart health since the nineteenth century.
As of today, there is enough evidence to support the claim that people with a diagnosis of gingivitis or any other periodontal disease are at increased risk of heart disease, especially if they have bleeding gums and continuously see blood in the sink.
A recent research article revealed that, after 26 years of follow-up, patients who experienced a stroke had a significant association with periodontal diseases, especially gingivitis.
One of the most important signs of periodontal disease is oral bleeding after brushing or flossing.
Good Oral Health May Prevent Heart Disease
The link between oral health and heart disease is believed to be inflammation. Inflamed gums bleed, and they perpetuate a chronic inflammatory state that contributes to the hardening of the arteries and an increased risk of heart disease.
Therefore, if you brush your teeth and floss regularly, you will reduce your chances of sustaining chronic inflammation and should, for all intents and purposes, improve your heart health.
This is why the authors of the research article mentioned above concluded that maintaining proper oral health stands as a preventative measure to reduce your chances of suffering from stroke and other cardiovascular-related events.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy and Fresh
Most of us are aware of how to maintain proper oral health, but sometimes we need a little extra push to get it just right. It is imperative to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, as this will get rid of harmful bacteria and sweep off food residues that may serve to feed bacteria in the oral cavity, which can trigger systemic inflammation.
Furthermore, seeing the dentist regularly will help you maintain a healthy smile and a fresh mouth, and it will prevent serious diseases such as gingivitis.
Oftentimes, people are not even aware that they have serious oral health problems until their gums become too fragile to hold on to their teeth, and they become loose or start falling out! That is not likely to happen if you practice good oral hygiene and keep up the habit of visiting your dentist once a year for a check-up.
More Tips to Prevent Heart Disease
Maintaining your oral health is just one of the ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and it is especially prevalent in the Western world.
If you want to further improve your chances of preventing heart disease, there are important lifestyle changes you can make.
- Be more active by exercising regularly at your own pace.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid eating fast food.
- Adopt the Mediterranean diet or any other diet featuring anti-inflammatory foods.
- Quit smoking.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Take steps to reduce your stress and process your emotions (especially anger, anxiety, and fear), in a healthy and productive way.
As you have seen, good heart health is strongly associated with good oral health. By keeping your mouth fresh and healthy, you can significantly lower your chances of having a heart attack.
As incredible as it may seem, there is a proven link between your mouth and your heart (and it’s not only about what you decide to eat).