If someone tells you that if you don’t take care of your teeth or you may end up with a heart problem, you would not believe them? Well it is true! Around 7 lakh people die from heart problem every year. Strangely, gum’s health has a co relation with heart’s health. People with healthier gums are less likely to develop any kind of heart problem.
How are these two linked?
While there is no direct relation between the two, the factors impacting the well being of the heart and gums are the same – smoking, poor nutrition, insulin resistance and inflammation.
Inflammation affects the arteries by depositing plaque on their surface and causing problems like atherosclerosis, strokes or even a heart attack.
Similarly inflammation also affects the gums and causing problems like gingivitis and making the gums red and swollen and at time full of pus. Also it makes the gums more vulnerable against bacteria.
Our mouth is home to many blood vessels and bacteria both. Any harm to the blood vessel can lead to bacteria entering the blood and reaching various organs and causing inflammation. The more severe the gum problem will be the more the chances you will have of having a stroke.
The main culprit bacterium that affects the gums is streptococcus sanguis. The very same bacteria are the reason for a heart issue. This bacterium links the two – heart and the gums. If there is no sign of a gum problem the chances of a heart problem are also very less.
People with bad oral health tend to have bad health habits like smoking, drinking and no exercise. All these habits increase the chances of not only a gum disease but also a heart problem. Diabetes is also the result of a bad life style and affects both the teeth and heart.
People with any kind of undiagnosed heart or gum problem have high CRP level in the blood. So if you have either a heart problem or a gum issue, getting periodical checkups which will help you be completely aware of your health.
How to keep teeth and heart healthy?
In all the recent studies conducted it was found that while there is no proof that you can cure a heart problem by curing a gum disease, getting regular dental checkups is of utmost importance. Any gum problem can only be cured if it is diagnosed early. If you take good care of your teeth, you will surely take excellent care of your heath.
Here are few of the habits that will make sure not only your teeth but your heart loves you too:
- Brush regularly at least twice in a day with fluoride toothpaste. If possible after every meal.
- Use a brush that is easy on your hands and mouth. Brushing in a circular motion with a brush that is comfortable and has round bristles provides the most effective and overall cleaning.
- Floss every night so that all the debris is removed from the mouth.
- Opt for a well balanced and calcium rich diet, so that your teeth and heart are healthy and fit.
- Avoid food items that have high content of sugar and salt. Not only they harm the teeth considerably but also put extra pressure on the heart. A healthy diet makes sure that your arteries and heart both are healthy.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Enough water levels in the body make sure there is enough saliva production which has a neutralizing effect on the bacteria. Also it helps in maintaining the overall health of the body especially the heart.
- Habits like smoking or drinking are bad not only for the oral health but the heart also. Smoking increases the chances of a heart problem by at least 40 percent. It also produces heat in the mouth and lessens the production of saliva which saves the teeth from bacteria.
- Having an active lifestyle and exercising for at least 40 minutes in day gives a boost to the overall immunity. A strong immunity means less chances of bacterial attack on teeth. Also exercising keeps the heart healthy and strong.
Make a pledge to be health conscious which includes both your oral health and heart health. Without any of these two, you won’t be completely healthy and disease free.