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Is There a Link Between Oral Health and Heart Disease? – Could Not Brushing Your Teeth Lead to a Heart Attack?

When it comes to a link between oral health and heart disease, many doctors and scientists see a link between improper care of your teeth being a risk factor for having a heart attack or developing heart disease in your future. That’s because some of the bacteria that helps erode your teeth and helps to cause gum diseases like gingivitis can also be found in some constricted blood vessels, in some blood clots, and even in the built up plaque that constricts blood flow to your heart from the inside.

Lowering Your Risks Are Easy

Lowering your risks of heart disease because of the link to oral health and heart disease can be as easy as brushing your teeth properly. Make sure that you take the time to brush your teeth at least twice per day, preferably after you’ve eaten a meal, and do so for at least 30 seconds. Think about a short nursery rhyme or song that you might sing so that you get the timing right if you don’t have a timer you can set. Be sure to also take the time to floss – stuck in particles can develop harmful bacteria quickly even if you brush your teeth regularly.

Avoid Overly Acidic Foods and Drinks

Have you ever had one of those nasty, white sores in your mouth that takes days to heal and makes it uncomfortable to eat pretty much anything? In the link between oral health and heart disease, eating too many acidic foods like citrus fruits and drinking too many acidic drinks like orange juice or soda can help decay your teeth and cause these sores, which in turn can help form the harmful bacteria. That doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate all of these things, because some of the acids are beneficial to your health. Just don’t consume them in excess. There’s nothing wrong with having a soda now and then or eating some acidic fruits routinely – just don’t make them the main part of your diet.

Try to Avoid Smoking or Chewing Tobacco

Photo from morguefile.com and wikimedia.org

Your teeth are a front line defense in the link to oral health and heart disease, and next to not brushing and eating or drinking to many acidic things, the next leading cause of mouth decay is smoking or chewing tobacco. Like some other things, smoking or chewing tobacco has a double whammy effect. Not only does it promote the bacteria that can help clog up your arteries from the inside, but the stimulants and carcinogens in the tobacco and the cigarette smoke also help constrict the arteries from the outside.

The link between oral health and heart disease can be a critical one – by taking care of your mouth by having a balanced diet, by regular brushings, and by avoiding harmful things like cigarettes and chewing tobacco, you can be on the road to lower your risk factors immensely.

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