Can brushing your teeth help save your heart? Studies show that improved gum health can reduce the risk of harmful plaque buildup in neck arteries.
According to US News, researchers found that as people’s gum health improved, the buildup of plaque in their arteries slowed. This narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and death.
The study included 420 adults who underwent tests to assess their gum health and plaque buildup in their neck (carotid) arteries. Over a follow-up of roughly three years, improvements in gum health and a reduction in the proportion of bacteria linked with gum infection (periodontal disease) was associated with a slower rate of plaque accumulation in the neck arteries.
Gum disease-related bacteria may contribute to atherosclerosis in a number of ways. For example, animal studies suggest that these bacteria may trigger inflammation associated with atherosclerosis.
In order to reduce the risk of gum disease, daily dental care and regular visits to your dentist are recommended. If you need to have your teeth or gums checked or if you are concerned about your heart in relation to your dental care, give Dr Brogdon a call. Our office would be glad to set up an appointment to discuss your dental needs.
Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Helping your children develop good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits will give them a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
According to the National Education Association (NEA):
Reports show that American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health problems. And students who are absent miss critical instruction time—especially in early grades where reading skills are an important focus and the building blocks of future learning. And students who have experienced recent oral health pain are four times more likely to have lower grade point averages than their counterparts who have not.
Educating parents to help their children with their oral health is important. Parents are recommended having their children brush 2 times for 2 minutes per day. Also to further help their children, the NEA encourages them to read for 20 minutes as a way of building good oral health and literacy habits. Not only for your children, but parents can also participate by brushing 2 + 2 and reading 20. By showing your child you are willing to do this, you help them promote good oral health and literacy skills.