Having good dental health is not only important for a great smile. Studies show that poor dental hygiene (such as gum disease or tooth loss) accounts for higher rates of cardiovascular issues such as heart attack or stroke.
How Dental Health Affects Cardiovascular Health
Research reveals a number of possible reasons for the link between dental health and cardiovascular health.
One thought is that bacteria that infects the gums don’t just stay in the mouth but also travel to blood vessels throughout the body. That bacteria can cause inflammation of the blood vessels, sparking small blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
Another says that when the body’s immune system reacts to the infectious bacteria from the mouth, then inflammation of the vessels throughout the body is the result.
How to Foster Good Dental Health
Aside from brushing the teeth, there are several things to keep in mind when keeping the mouth and teeth bacteria-free.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal. Brush using small, circular motions, paying attention to each tooth for a total of about 3 minutes.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel and gums.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria between the teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- See your dentist regularly, at least every six months.
- Avoid smoking, which can lead to gum disease.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks, which can create cavities.
- Drink plenty of water to keep the mouth clean.
- Try coconut oil pulling.