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Dental Cleaning and Your Heart Health

Brushing and flossing are imperative to the success of your oral hygiene routine – and so is regularly visiting the dentist. All three of these practices may do more than simply keeping your mouth healthy and clean. In fact, your mouth’s hygiene directly affects your heart health and can also be an indicator of numerous conditions affecting your entire cardiovascular system.

According to a recent article published in Harvard Health, your oral hygiene habits can heighten or lower your risk for developing several serious heart conditions. These include heart muscle disease, atrial firbrilation, an irregular heartbeat or other infections that could lead to a chronic illness within the cardiovascular system. This heightened risk is caused by the development of bacteria or disease within the mouth.

Your Mouth’s Community of Bacteria

On average, there are at least six million bacteria living inside everyone’s mouth. It’s the perfect microbiome – or environment – for bacteria to thrive. You might have the sudden urge to reach for your toothbrush and instinctively try to brush all the germs away, but there is no reason to be alarmed. The majority are good bacteria that aid in digestion and fight against the bad microbes in our mouths.

Dental experts say out of over 700 different types of bacteria found in our mouths, only 15 to 20 are classified as bad bacteria. These can be found causing a number of common problems including plaque, stained teeth, decay, and even gum disease. This is where brushing, flossing and scheduling your regular dental cleanings can help cut down on the number of bad microbes trying to take up residence in your mouth.

Speaking Directly To The Heart

Another way our oral hygiene affects our overall health is the manner in which bacteria journeys throughout our bodies. Our bloodstream acts as an interstate that allows bacteria to travel numerous places around the body including our digestive tract, heart, lymphatic system, and brain. For the heart and lymphatic system in particular, oral health plays a key role in preventing illness and disease.

Research has shown that individuals who develop gum disease or tooth decay have a much higher risk of developing inflammation of the blood vessels, bacterial infections, and chronic illnesses like heart disease. The American Heart Association has also attributed this to higher rates of blocked arteries and veins, which can lead to stroke.

One study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2018, analyzed a connection between the development of oral health issues and cardiovascular disease over a 21 year period. Major factors that determined if participants would suffer cardiovascular disease were smoking and tooth decay. Out of nearly a million participants, 65,000 individuals developed heart disease.These individuals were almost evenly split between smokers and nonsmokers with tooth decay.

While research has shown that smoking is a direct cause of poor oral health, as well as posing a heightened risk for heart problems, it is not the only factor you should be concerned about. Harmful bacteria can thrive in different parts of your mouth for different reasons.

These factors include not flossing between your teeth and the gum line or simply consuming too much sugar – leading to tooth decay or cavities. Eventually these microbes can make their way from the mouth to our bloodstream and then into vital organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain.

What You Can Do

Brushing and flossing at least twice per day can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth that can lead to plaque, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. You’ll need to use a soft-bristle toothbrush to cover the inside, outside and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Make sure to brush at least two minutes while holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle.

Flossing is also important to ensure food is not trapped between your teeth and gums. While it’s not as easy to remember as brushing your teeth each morning, adding this to your dental care routine can help cut down on bacteria buildup, bleeding or having sensitive gums during a dental visit.

Like other household products you use for hygiene, you need to replace your toothbrush and toothpaste often, especially after you’ve been sick. By doing this, you’re eliminating the potential for spread or return of harmful bacteria to your mouth.

Ultimately, when it comes to heart disease, most research says it is too early to tell how significantly good oral hygiene can lower your risk. For now, experts have concluded that brushing and flossing paired with professional cleanings shouldn’t be your exclusive preventative measure. Nevertheless, do not disregard the multiple benefits of proper oral hygiene practices. Blood vessel inflammation is a reliable indicator of heart problems, and by improving your oral health, you are taking a simple step to reduce this known risk factor.

How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

Time is always an important consideration when it comes to doing anything, and for many people, can have a significant impact when it comes to addressing their oral and heart health. Anything beyond brushing your teeth might seem like quite the chore, but this chore can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Just four minutes of brushing and flossing each day, and at least 30 minutes for a teeth cleaning and dental checkup every six months, greatly reduces your chances of developing gum disease or a cardiovascular condition. You might also be surprised to see that you stay well more often simply by regularly replacing your toothbrush and toothpaste.

Discover Expert General Dentistry Near Warrenville, Illinois

Finding a good dentist near Warrenville may feel like an impossible task, however, it doesn’t have to be. At Dupage Dental Smiles, Dr. Bagai has helped thousands of individuals across Warrenville and the surrounding areas achieve their oral health goals.

Under general dentistry, Dupage Dental Smiles offers a variety of services that range from a simple cleaning and checkup to x-rays and more. Whether it has been months or years since your last visit, Dr. Bagai and his dental team are happy to help you book your next dental cleaning and checkup.

Schedule your dental cleaning with Dr. Bagai today by calling Dupage Dental Smiles at (630) 393-2733.

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2 South 631 Rt. 59, Suite D
Warrenville, IL 60555

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