Although many people know that oral health problems can be painful and disfiguring, not everybody is aware of the link between oral health and the heart. When tooth decay and gum disease occur, associated oral bacteria growth presents risks of inflammation and damage in the cardiovascular system. Here is more about this connection and how you can protect yourself.
Oral bacteria can enter the blood stream through fissures in diseased gums. As these bacteria travel through the blood vessels, they can trigger inflammation that results in blood clots and tissue damage. Blood clots are the leading cause of heart attack and stroke and can speed atherosclerosis. If oral bacteria enter the heart, they can cause endocarditis, a life-threatening infection of the inner cardiac tissue. Oral bacteria can also damage the kidneys, increasing risks of poor heart health.
Protection from oral health problems and heart disease can be improved with home dental hygiene and healthy food selection. Brushing and flossing should be performed every day, and regular dental check-ups should be scheduled to help spot problems quickly. Sugary foods and beverages should be limited or avoided as these can directly feed harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Immediate benefits of dental care include a better-looking smile and fresher breath, but long-term advantages extend beyond the mouth to the heart and blood vessels. To learn more about how oral health affects the heart, you can schedule a consultation with our expert in dental cleaning in Houston.
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