A Nice Smile and a Healthy Heart

SYoung Health Guide
  • That visit to the dentist is not exactly something that most of us look forward to. You hear commercials every day about new sedation dentistry practices to make people more comfortable with their yearly or by-yearly trip to the dentist. However, there is a big reason why those of us suffering from high cholesterol should make sure to see our dentist routinely.

     

    The relationship between oral health and heart health has been well documented over the past few years. According to the Mayo Clinic research shows that several types of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease, clogged arteries and the chance for strokes) may be linked to oral health.

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    Bacteria in your mouth can affect the heart by entering the blood stream, and attaching itself to fatty plaques in the heart's blood vessels, which will contribute to clot formation. Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. Ultimately, this may lead to heart attacks.

     

    While indirectly related to cholesterol issues, this is a sign that good oral health should be a top priority for those of us suffering from high cholesterol. On top of having to worry about successfully controlling my cholesterol numbers I don't need to also worry about how bacteria in my mouth will affect my veins.

     

    Of course, it all starts with good and simple oral hygiene practice. Flossing every day, brushing two if not more times per day, and using mouthwash (to both kill bacteria and stimulate saliva glands) are more than half the battle. But it is still important to see the dentist at least once per year to make sure that all is well in your mouth....your heart will thank you!!

Published On: March 12, 2010