What if your doctor told you doing one activity, for one minute, once per day may cut your risk of heart disease in half? The activity, you ask? Flossing. Yes, by simply flossing those pearly whites every day your risk for heart attack and stroke may be markedly reduced.
Simple Math: 1 Activity + 1 Minute + 1x /Day + 5 Tips = Heart Disease/2
Not Sure If You Have Been Flossing Properly All These Years?
Studies have shown that people who suffer from gum disease, also known as gingivitis, or other forms of periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Some researchers have even gone so far as to say that the role of gum disease is a stronger risk factor for cardiovascular disease than your cholesterol level.
What is the possible link?
Although scientists cannot put a direct cause and effect on how dental hygiene affects heart health, most would agree that there is a definite association. The main cause is inflammation. I have shared in previous posts about how inflammation leads to hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.
Learn more about heart disease in my previous articles:
But how does gum disease cause inflammation?
Our mouths contain over 300 species of bacteria – some of which are beneficial and some which lead to gum disease. Our gums are highly vascular –which means there’s lots of blood flow to our teeth and gums. When there is any infection or swelling of the gums, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. From there, the bacteria can trigger inflammation across your whole body, especially in the blood vessels affecting the heart, leading to a heart attack.
Recent studies have shown that a particular bacteria, known as Streptococcus sanguis, plays a role in increasing the risk for stroke. This is because bacteria can produce inflammation in the carotid arteries, the arteries leading to your brain, making them thicker and harder for blood to flow.
Here are 5 Tips to decrease your risk of gingivitis:
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day.
- Floss once a day
- Avoid sugary foods which increase plaque build-up. By now, you must know that I am not a fan of sugar. Sugar is “white death!”
- Improve your diet – eat foods high in calcium and Vitamin B. Think green leafy vegetables! Good for your bones and your mouth.
Note that there are exceptions to the rule. Studies have not addressed those who already have heart disease. I do want to emphasize that this is for informational reasons only. Always consult with your healthcare professional if you have any questions.
Please share this valuable information with your friends, family and others who you think may benefit. You may be saving someone’s life – maybe even your own!
In health and happiness,