February is American Heart Month and part of having a healthy heart is having healthy teeth. Recent studies show that adults who had thorough dental cleanings may be somewhat less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than their peers who are less careful about oral hygiene.
According to Reuters.com:
But the study is in line with past research that has linked gum disease to an increased risk of heart disease, said lead researcher Dr. Zu-Yin Chen, a cardiology fellow at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan. Since gum disease is caused by bacterial infection, researchers suspect that it may contribute to heart attacks or stroke by causing a chronic state of inflammation in blood vessels. And studies have shown that treating gum disease can cut the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood, Chen told Reuters Health in an email. Still, no one knows for sure whether a regular visit to your dentist can prevent a future heart attack.
Although these studies are still being researched, using good dental hygiene can help improve your health.
In recent years, researchers have connected the dots between inflammation in the gums and inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the heart. A study released online Friday in the British Medical Journal suggests that consistent brushing of the teeth may be a significant strategy to reduce the risk of heart disease.
So do your heart a favor, brush your teeth twice a day and set up an appointment with Dr. Brogdon to get a thorough dental cleaning. Not only your teeth, but your heart will thank you!