Your oral health is a vital part of enjoying life and having a smile that looks its best, but did you know that it could actually be critical to your longevity? Recent research has revealed that your oral health may have a broader impact on your overall health than was originally suspected. Patients who have exhibited poor dental health have shown increased incidences of heart attack, stroke, and poor cardiac health. Your oral health does more than just keep your smile bright, it also boosts the health of your whole body.
The Connection of Cardiac Health And Oral Health
The first part of this connection lay in the way the oral cavity is built and the prevalence of blood vessels and membranes that are present there. Bacteria can be quite invasive in the oral cavity, resulting in periodontitis and gingivitis when they infect the gums and teeth. What you may not know is how dangerous these bacteria can be when they enter the bloodstream. Abscesses are already a painful and unpleasant experience, but if that infection should enter your bloodstream it can be life-threatening.
Even without the risk of going septic (blood-borne infection), poor oral hygiene seems to enhance inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can lead to vascular damage throughout the body, including the brain and heart, resulting in strokes or cardiac disease. These aren’t the only factors that can lead to these conditions, but they’re one more reason to keep your teeth sparkling white. If these habits are combined with poor oral health you are looking at a perfect storm of risk for your heart.
It’s More Than Just Your Heart At Risk
The risks to your overall health associated with poor oral hygiene extend beyond your heart. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis have also been shown to have a connection to gum disease. This is even truer in cases where gum disease is the result of a bacteria known as porphyromonas gingivalis. These two diseases have been shown to have a strong correlation, though causation will have to be proven through further scientific study. Scientists are still doing research to determine if a cause and effect relationship can be discovered.
Oral Health Is Vital To Total Health
Whether those two conditions are connected or not there is no question that those with better oral health have better overall health. This is due, in part, to their not having their ability to eat nutritious foods impaired by poor oral hygiene. Keeping your teeth clean and maintained means you won’t experience pain from decay and will be able to avoid expenses associated with having it corrected.
If you live in the Covington, LA area you can stop in at Magnolia Dental or call to make an appointment with Dr. Ross Quartano. The team of experts at this clinic have been working with patients to maintain exceptional oral health through preventative dentistry and education. Don’t let your heart suffer from poor oral hygiene, call and make an appointment today to begin a new tradition of great oral health.