How Poor Dental Hygiene Can Impact Heart Disease

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
February 4, 2011

Person writing down dental information

Updated on March 10th, 2021

Do you find it hard to stick to a strict oral hygiene routine at home? Do you often skip brushing your teeth twice a day? Are you reluctant to floss because you don’t enjoy doing it or you’re too busy? 

To find the motivation to take better care of your mouth, you might want to consider the fact that there’s a potential link between poor oral health and poor heart health!
While this might seem a bit strange, it’s true: if you don’t take the proper steps to keep your teeth and gums clean, you might end up doing harm to your ticker. We break it all down for you below, so keep reading to learn about this fascinating connection between two very different parts of your body. 

Do Heart Problems Start in Your Gums?

To answer this question, let’s take a look at some of the findings of research that has been conducted in this area:

  • One study found that you might be able to lower your risk of heart problems by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Study participants who stated they didn’t brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes showed a higher risk of heart failure, heart attack, or stroke compared to those who brushed the way experts recommend.
  • Researchers have found that gum disease might cause high blood pressure. And oral health problems might also play a role in coronary artery disease. 
  • There might be a connection between poor oral health and heart valve ailments. And people who have gum disease and fewer teeth might be at a greater risk of having a stroke. 
  • Experts believe that, if your oral health is suffering, bacteria in the mouth might get into the bloodstream, increase C-reactive protein and inflammation, adversely impact the blood vessels and heart valves, and boost the risk of cardiovascular problems.  

What does this all mean? Well, even though some of the research isn’t definitive, and other factors (such as whether someone smokes or leads an active lifestyle) also play a role in heart health, it appears that the inflammation and bacteria that occur in the mouth because of poor oral hygiene might impact other parts of the body in various ways. 

More Research Is Needed to Get More Answers

Although some research has shown that there might be a link between poor oral health and poor cardiovascular health, more studies will need to be conducted before experts can be totally sure that these problems are indeed related. 

In the meantime, it definitely doesn’t hurt to maintain an oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing every day. And seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings is also wise. Not only will your mouth look and feel good, but you might also be taking a step towards keeping other areas of your body, such as your heart, healthy too! 

Focus on What You Can Do Right Now

If you have questions about how to up your game when it comes to oral hygiene, talking to a dentist could give you the answers you need. Sure, taking the time to shop for the right toothpaste, toothbrush, flosser, and mouthwash is a great place to start, but don’t neglect those important trips to the dentist to let a professional take a look at your teeth and gums. Your dentist can let you know how you’re doing, and can also provide treatments that will tackle problems like gum disease in their earliest stages before they can lead to other issues. 

Final tip: consider signing up for affordable dental insurance to reap a host of benefits, like three cleanings per year and coverage for major services. The right plan can help you rest assured that, if you ever need to undergo expensive treatments for your teeth or gums, you won’t need to break the bank to restore the health of your mouth.  



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