The benefits of maintaining good oral hygiene with twice daily brushing and flossing at least once a day extend beyond just helping your teeth and gums. Improving your oral health has a positive impact on your overall health as everything within the body is connected. As research continues to reveal a link between gum disease and other health issues including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, it’s more important than ever to take care of your oral health.
Connection between heart disease and oral health
Research continues into the connection between heart disease and gum disease, and although nothing is 100% certain yet, there’s evidence linking the two. A person with gum disease is two times more likely to have heart disease than someone who doesn’t have gum disease. Having a high level of bacteria in the mouth from gum disease may also cause clogging in the arteries that can lead to stroke. The bacteria from bleeding gums can enter the bloodstream, forming clots that stick to blood platelets and this can lead to clogged arteries too. When inflammatory substances enter the bloodstream, it can complicate chronic health conditions including diabetes and heart disease. By practicing and improving daily oral hygiene, you can help protect your body from these health issues.
Connection between Alzheimer’s disease and oral health
Scientific studies continue to find probable links between gum disease and cognitive health. The NYU College of Dentistry ran a study that discovered that gum disease could increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction, not just in a healthy individual but also in those who already had cognitive impairment. A study in the United Kingdom uncovered bacterium associated with gum disease in brain samples of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. There was no evidence of the bacterium in healthy brain samples. This indicates that bacteria moves through the body via nerves from tooth roots or through the bloodstream directly.
Prevention the best medicine
Preventing gum disease is the best way to avoid it leading to complications with heart disease, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease. Improving oral health makes your body healthier too, and it’s easy to do by practicing good dental hygiene including:
- Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day
- Eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods with minimally processed foods
- Visiting the dentist at least every six months for an exam and cleaning
- Having routine annual checkups with a primary care doctor to look for issues such as heart disease and diabetes
It’s easiest to treat gum disease when the dentist finds it in its early stages, so it’s vital that you schedule and keep your regular dental visits with Dupont Dental. For help on further ways to improve your oral and overall health, contact our offices today.