You hear of many ways to reduce the risk of heart disease; quit smoking, be more active, reduce your intake of sugars, fats, and sodium. What you don’t hear often enough is that good oral health—especially having healthy gums—is a key factor in lowering the risk of heart disease.

According to an article from Delta Dental, gum disease increases the risk of a first heart attack by 28%. The Mayo Clinic describes two ways in which oral health can affect your heart:

  • Endocarditis – The endocardium is the inner lining of the heart. By not brushing your teeth twice a day, bacteria can quickly build up and spread through the bloodstream. These bacteria attach themselves to the endocardium, causing inflammation and reducing the heart’s ability to function.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – There is research which suggests heart disease, clogged arteries, and strokes might be linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.

Those with chronic gum conditions, like gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease, have the highest risk for heart disease. Even those who have no noticeable gum inflammation can be at risk. Poor oral hygiene and the build-up of plaque—which often go unnoticed—can cause bacteria to migrate into the bloodstream and inflame blood vessels which, according to the Cleveland Clinic, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The best way to take care of your heart is to take care of your teeth and gums, and the best way to take care of your teeth and gums is to schedule a visit to the office of Dr. Brei and Dr. Schneider every six months.

There are many ways to get in touch with the office of Dr. Brei and Dr. Schneider. You can email us at appointments@drbrei.com, call us at 520-325-9000, or book an appointment directly. Make an appointment today. Your heart will thank you!