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Schedule a Dental Cleaning in Lincoln Square – How it Can Improve Your Heart Health – Part I

How Heart Health May be Affected by Oral Health

You probably are not thinking about your heart health when you are brushing or flossing your teeth. Nevertheless, your oral hygiene habits may have a significant impact on your risk for developing heart disease. Research shows that brushing frequently is associated with a lower risk for developing an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation (Afib). Since these conditions can seriously endanger your health, it is encouraging to know that something as simple as maintaining a healthy mouth can help to prevent them.

A recent study appearing in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology followed 161,286 participants with a mean follow-up of 10.5 years. All participants had no previous history of Afib or heart failure prior to enrolling in the study. Upon follow-up, 4.9% of the participants had developed heart failure, and 3% had developed Afib.

The data collected showed that individuals who brushed their teeth three or more times per day had a 10% lower risk of developing Afib and a 12% lower risk of developing heart failure. These numbers are statistically significant when it comes to decreasing your risk for heart disease and related complications. .

What is the Connection?

Heart disease and dental issues are connected through the spread of bacteria – and other microorganisms – which can travel from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. When these microbes reach the heart, they can attach themselves to blood vessels, or any area of the vascular system that has sustained previous damage, and multiply– resulting in inflammation and sometimes infection.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular conditions like clogged and damaged blood vessels (arteriosclerosis), as well as a higher risk for stroke, have been linked to inflammation caused by oral bacteria. Cardiologists from the Mayo Clinic have noted that oral bacteria can also cause endocarditis, a serious infection of the inner lining of the heart. Good oral hygiene and quality dental care can help prevent these types of serious health complications.

More Information From Your Family Dentist in Lincoln Square

To learn who is most at risk for cardiovascular complications, and what you can do to improve your oral health – and your overall health – check back here for Part II of this series. If you are ready to schedule your checkup and professional teeth cleaning, or other dental services now, reach out to Cornerstone Dental of Lincoln Square – your experienced general dentist in Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL.

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