While there may be no conclusive research proving tooth decay causes heart disease, more and more studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions, including heart disease.
And if that’s not enough of a reason to keep your mouth clean, it’s hard to find a better one.
And it’s not all that surprising why they are related.
We are a system. What affects one part of our body is likely to have an affect on another part. That’s why reflexology works, why acupuncture works, why a full stomach helps us think better, and why love makes us more creative.
It’s no different when it comes to our mouth. It’s connected to the rest of us. (And it’s not only because our teeth chew the food that goes to our stomach.)
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth, mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some patients who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. A consequence of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long time period.
But don’t just take my word for it. Dr. Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, states: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only one in six people realizes that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only one in three is aware of the heart disease link.”
And this from the American Dental Association: “studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions that include heart disease, diabetes and stroke.”
While not as eloquently put as by the British, the ADA clearly makes the point.
But fear not. The good news is you can actively prevent it.
Start with proper dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth and flossing or using interdental brushes, can prevent and help treat gum disease. And so, improve your overall health, and help reduce the risk of consequent health problems.
Then don’t forget to visit to see me. Not just to listen to my great music, but for regular cleanings and check-ups.
If you want your heart to feel happy, fall in love, go scuba diving or play with your grandchildren. If you also want it be healthy, clean your teeth.