A nice smile is more than cosmetic; oral health can have impact on overall health. In particular, poor dental health may lead to cardiovascular problems and heart disease.
While studies are not conclusive, data suggests a link between inflammation caused by bacteria and gum disease and damage to blood vessels which can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Bacteria that are found in periodontal disease, including Streptococcus sanguis, can also spread to directly to the heart.
Even if a direct link between oral health and heart disease has not been found, it’s important to take care of your teeth.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss every day.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are damaged.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
For more information read The Importance of Integrating Oral Health with Overall Health, from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.