These days, doctors and scientists know that taking care of your body requires taking care of your oral health, too. This includes your heart. If you're interested in doing everything you can to protect your heart health, you shouldn't neglect your oral health, either. Here's the connection between the two and how one can hurt the other.
Bacteria is typically responsible for gum disease and cavities. Unfortunately, bacteria can migrate to other parts of the body, too.
This is possible by the bacteria making it to your bloodstream. It's not that hard to happen since if you have gum disease, chances are you have some gum bleeding. If bacteria can make it into the opening in your gums, it can travel wherever the bloodstream goes. This includes the heart.
Bacteria aren't just there. They're living organisms that attack the healthy cells around them. So they can create damage and tissue death throughout the body, including the heart. Since all blood eventually circulates through the heart, it's not out of the question for bacteria to get into it and to wreak havoc there.
Another common problem with heart health and the gums is inflammation. Inflammation that starts in the gums can potentially spread to other parts of the body, too.
Inflammation and heart disease are tied together, regardless of where the inflammation starts. Keeping inflammation to a minimum throughout the body is essential to ward off this disease, so if you have gum disease, you should start there.
Chances are that you've heard that plaque can build up in the arteries and cause cardiovascular troubles. This isn't the same kind of plaque that's found in your mouth, but that doesn't mean that your mouth doesn't have ties to it.
Scientists have found evidence that the bacteria responsible for creating dental plaque has ties to arterial plaque. In fact, one study found that there were actual live oral bacteria inside plaque that had built-up in the arteries of patients. It's unclear right now whether the bacteria creates this plaque or has a hand in helping it to accumulate, but in any case, you don't want oral bacteria getting into your bloodstream.
If you want to take care of your heart, make an appointment with your dentist. Taking care of your teeth and gums has a big role to play in taking care of your cardiovascular system. Don't let your oral health bring down all of your other efforts to have a healthy heart.