While there appears to be a link between oral health and heart disease, does that mean preventing gum disease will also prevent heart disease? The American Heart Association states there is no actual proof that preventing gum disease will also prevent developing heart disease. However, POOR oral hygiene can affect the risks of developing heart disease or worsen it, but GOOD dental hygiene cannot prevent its development. In other words, the relationship between oral health and heart disease is not a simple one. Gum disease and heart disease appear to share common risk factors. The bottom line is, taking good care of your teeth and gums may help you take better care of your heart and overall health, but it cannot prevent heart disease, as there are many other factors that can also increase the risk of heart disease.
What Does the Research Show?
Numerous studies have been conducted to determine whether there is a direct relationship between oral pathology and heart disease. To this point, there is evidence suggesting that in many cases where there is gum disease present, evidence of heart disease also suggests some type of relationship exists. If that’s the case, what can patients do to minimize their risks? It starts with what your doctor always tells you to help you stay healthy.
Simple Strategies for Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease
Almost every practicing physician will always recommend that patients take good care of themselves, especially their heart. In turn, most expert dental practitioners will also suggest and concur with medical physicians when it comes to practicing good health habits. Doctors will routinely suggest patients take proactive steps to lower their potential for developing heart disease by practicing the following:
- Controlling blood pressure
- Managing weight
- Taking physical fitness seriously
- Quitting smoking
While dental and oral health care alone cannot prevent heart disease, the fact that periodontal disease is often present in patients later found to have heart-related issues is important. Just how and why that happens is still open to debate, but the anecdotal evidence clearly suggests taking diligent care of your dental health can impact your overall health as well.
Good Oral Health Advice
While taking steps to enhance your overall health is important, there are specific tips everyone should pay attention to that will enhance your dental health and directly help reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Most people learn these tips early in life, but not everyone follows them. To enhance your dental (and overall) health, it is important to:
- Schedule regular appointments with a dental professional for exams and cleanings
- Replace your toothbrush as soon as bristles show signs of wear.
- Always brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing is vital – so it’s important to develop a habit of flossing daily.
Since your oral health is so important, it’s best to never put off having dental exams at least twice a year. The expert dental practitioners of OMSH are available to Houston patients who are experiencing missing teeth and may have gum disease or other issues that threaten the role of oral and facial functioning. OMSH specializes in restoring healthy smiles with dental implants, and various oral surgeries to restore the structure of your gums, as well as facial and jaw bones. If you have missing or failing teeth, it’s important to connect with OMSH for more information, and for a full oral examination. Call 832-509-4505 for an appointment.