06 Jun How Regularly Flossing Teeth May Prevent Heart Attacks
The majority of people do not readily connect flossing and good oral hygiene as a preventative measure to heart attacks. However, evidence does exist through various studies revealing the link between excessive bacteria that forms in the mouths of those with poor oral health and heart disease as well as other types of illnesses. With heart disease being a major cause of death in Americans, practicing good oral hygiene is one easily accomplishable proactive step that can be taken to lower risk.
The link between poor oral health and heart attacks lies in the bacteria that is formed in the mouth and then enters the circulatory system through bleeding gums, cavities and jawbone deterioration. When brushing and flossing are not practiced regularly, tarter or plaque buildup occurs and eventually leads to swollen and bleeding gums (gingivitis), or gum deterioration that exposes the underlying jawbone foundation of teeth (periodontitis). Oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can attach to the lining of the heart or assist in plaque buildup within blood vessels, both of which can eventually lead to heart attacks.
A majority of people that practice good oral hygiene through regular brushing may still place themselves at risk of bacterial infection that can enter the bloodstream. The reason is that bacterial plaque can build up in places where the toothbrush cannot adequately clean, particularly between teeth. Even those who regularly brush can develop gingivitis and periodontitis from tarter buildup between the teeth that infect the gums and eat cavities through the protective enamel covering of the teeth.
Dentists understand that brushing alone is not sufficient to prevent tooth decay and other illnesses directly related to poor oral health conditions. That is why dentists strongly recommend adding flossing to dental cleansing routines. Dental floss enters between teeth and removes a large portion of tarter buildup that cannot be effectively removed by brushing alone. When you floss on a daily basis, you eliminate a great deal more bacteria from between teeth, more adequately prevent oral infections, limit the chance of bacteria entering the circulatory system, and subsequently reduce the risk of heart attack.
Besides daily brushing and flossing, you should also add regular dental office visits to your good oral health routine. Dental professionals can detect the early signs of oral infection and stop it before it escalates. They can also help identify root oral problems that may be directly or indirectly causing other health issues.