Can you keep your heart healthier simply by brushing your teeth? According to medical professionals, poor dental hygiene practices can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have indicated that oral bacteria can trigger systemic inflammation that can affect not only the oral cavity but also the lining of your blood vessels. Dental plaque is often the source of these bacteria, and while dental plaque is not the same as the substance that clogs your arteries, it does increase the risk for arterial plaque. In fact, research has shown that treating periodontal disease can actually improve arterial health.
The best way to reduce your risk of periodontal disease and keep oral bacteria under control is through good dental hygiene practices and periodic professional cleanings. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and oral bacteria after meals. A soft-bristled brush is gentle and effective on your teeth and gums, and fluoride toothpaste combats bacteria. Use dental floss or an inter-dental cleaner to clean between teeth at least once a day. Finish your oral hygiene routine with a swish of fluoride or antimicrobial mouthwash to kill more bacteria. Routine checkups and cleanings can help remove plaque, tartar and bacteria in hard-to-reach areas.
Poor dental hygiene has been linked not only to poor cardiovascular health but also an increased risk of respiratory infections and dementia. Contact our office today to find out more about how you can take control of your smile and your health or to schedule your appointment with our Houston dentist.
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