Is it possible that poor oral health can lead to heart disease?
I believe poor oral health, such as not regularly brushing or flossing, is unlikely to be the primary cause of heart disease. Having said that, poor oral health along with other risk factors may contribute to heart disease…
Bacteria on your teeth and gums can in theory travel through the person’s bloodstream and attach to fatty plaques in the arteries, making the plaques become more swollen and inflamed. If under certain circumstances, one of the plaques bursts and causes a blood clot to form, the person can have a heart attack or even a stroke.
Furthermore, it could become a case that swelling in gums lead to swelling in other parts of the body, including the arteries. The swelling can also contribute to heart disease.
The bottom line is that regardless of whether you have heart disease, it is very important to take care of the teeth and gums. The top 5 steps to good oral hygiene include:
- Getting routine dental checkups
- Brushing your teeth three times a day
- Flossing your teeth on a daily basis
- Replacing your toothbrush regularly
- Eat healthy and non-acidic food
- Drinking less sugary drinks and sodas
Dr. Danial Kalantari, the primary dentist at Smiles on Bristol Dentistry, located in Santa Ana, California, just a few minutes away from the John Wayne Airport, warns of a new viral trend sweeping across the internet. This new trend is so-called DIY or “do-it-yourself” dentistry, where people on YouTube, often teenagers, recommend at-home dental procedures to help people avoid the potentially high-cost of professional dental care. Generally aimed in helping straighten the teeth, these at-home procedures use rubber bands, wires, and even paper clips to try to realign teeth.
While these procedures may seem to adequately mimic the work of professional orthodontics, they are actually applying dangerous pressure to the teeth which can lead to nerve damage and the death of the tooth. Rubber bands used around the teeth can also slip dangerously far into the gums requiring surgery to remove. The potential damage to the teeth and gums can require surgery far more expensive than the procedures DIY dentists were looking to avoid in the first place. Beyond that, the damage could be permanent making an aesthetic issue now a lifelong health concern.
According to Dr. Danial Kalantari of Santa Ana Smiles On Bristol Dentistry, parents have many things to worry about in regards to their children. A concern parents often forget, however, is the importance of dental health. Tooth decay remains one of the leading diseases among children. Fortunately, tooth decay can be almost completely prevented by adopting a few simple practices.
Parents should establish a brushing and flossing routine before their child’s first birthday. The tooth care when the child has few teeth does not need to be very intense. Instead parents should focus on simply trying to keep the teeth free of food particles, as well as getting their child used to having a tooth care routine. Parents can play a two minute song while children are brushing as a fun way to make sure they brush long enough. Parents should also pay close attention to their child’s snacking habits to try to keep them from consuming too much sugar. Children should be monitored during their brushing and flossing for the first seven to eight years to make sure they use proper techniques and do not forget.
Taking the child to the dentist before any pain or irritation is observed can help prevent any unnecessary decay. Additionally, introducing a child to the dentist before more complicated, painful procedures are needed can help prevent a child from developing a fear of the dentist.
Parents of teenagers should try to limit their teen’s intake of sodas and sugary drinks as the sugar and acidic additives can promote plaque and erode enamel. If the teenager partakes in sports, parents should insist they wear mouth guards to help protect from any accidental damage. Parents can also promote healthy habits for their teens such as eating healthy, low-sugar, high-nutrient snacks, and keeping a small toothbrush in their locker or backpack.