Sure; you know that regular flossing helps to keep your gums healthy. But, did you know that researchers now believe proper oral hygiene can improve your heart health? Here’s why understanding the connection between flossing and heart disease is vital for your well-being.
Growing Evidence of a Connection
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if scientific research revealed a no-question relationship between something that we do and our health? Sometimes, as with cigarette smoking, the evidence is pretty overwhelming. Other times, as with flossing and heart disease, the evidence reveals tantalizing clues that point toward a connection.
We’re learning more about the possible link between a healthy mouth and heart health all the time. One of the reasons that researchers are so interested in finding a possible connection is the sheer number of people who die from heart disease each year. More than one-quarter of all deaths in the United States each year are the result of heart disease.
Current Research Findings
Scientists now understand that people who have gum disease have a higher than average chance of having heart disease. Studies show that people with infected gums have as much as a twenty percent higher risk of developing heart disease. While that information alone isn’t evidence of an absolute connection, there is a growing belief that poor oral health does contribute to a sick cardiovascular system.
Researchers at the Harvard Medical School, for instance, theorize that periodontal disease increases inflammation in the body. Your immune system fights inflammation and, over the long run, the immune response damages arteries and leads to heart disease.
Gum disease also increases blood pressure. Some of the downsides of living with high blood pressure include (1) heart disease, (2) strokes, (3) heart attacks, and even (4) dementia.
Flossing and Heart Disease
The exciting news about a possible connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is that you have the power to improve your oral health. A regular dental maintenance program is a sure way to improve the state of your gums. Some things that you can do to ensure a healthy mouth include:
- Brush and floss daily
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- See your dentist regularly
- Eat a low sugar diet
- Avoid tobacco products
- Limit your daily alcohol intake
Interestingly, too many of us neglect daily flossing even though nearly everyone knows that it’s a vital part of a complete oral hygiene program. Read here for tips on an effective flossing routine.
It’s undoubtedly challenging, although extremely vital, to maintain tip-top oral health when undergoing orthodontic treatment. Don’t neglect to floss while you’re wearing braces as it’s even more essential that keep the areas between your teeth clean at this time. Consider using a water flosser to keep your smile clean. Ask Smiles for Life Orthodontics for terrific advice on braces and oral hygiene.
Lastly, with evidence mounting of a connection between oral health and heart fitness, it makes sense to opt for a healthy oral hygiene routine. Indeed, brushing, flossing, and heart disease come together for overall health. It’s time to make taking care of your smile a priority.
Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics for a friendly and comprehensive approach to your orthodontic needs.