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.
Your heart might depend on it.