Oral health and physical health are often talked about in two different spaces. Your dentists office visits may be in a completely different spot as your doctors office. Your dentist probably doesn’t talk to you about your physical health, just like your doctor doesn’t talk to you about your oral health. However, these two aspects of health are more related than you think!
Learn more about how keeping a healthy mouth may help with heart health.
Healthy Mouth & Heart Health
Scientists believe we may be able to learn about overall health by looking at commonalties in specific diseases. In this case, discovering what oral disease (mouth/teeth and gum disease) and heart disease have in common.
Most research points to a causal relationship between oral disease and heart disease. A causal relationship, meaning one variable directly impacts another variable, one variable indirectly effects another variable.
The main associations between the two being,
Although less common of a heart problem is infective endocarditis, which directly relates to oral health and the heart. Infective endocarditis is when bacteria is so prevalent in the mouth that it begins to enter the bloodstream. This bacteria starts from the mouth and then moves infecting the heart lining, blood vessels, or heart valve.
Effect on metabolism
Your oral health may be involved in lowering your metabolism- if your oral bacteria levels and you have gum disease. For example, in one study they found that those with gum disease had some cases of metabolic dysfunction. In another study, oral bacteria was found to influence cholesterol.
Both indicate that practitioners should look to bacterial tests to predict the risk factors of cholesterol and metabolism problems.
Another variable that oral bacteria may influence is blood pressure. Or in scientific terms hypertension (known as high blood pressure).
Research has shown that those with gum disease are more likely than otherwise healthy individuals to have high blood pressure. .
5 Tips for a healthy mouth
To keep your mouth happy and healthy (and perhaps your heart while you’re at it) you can build some simple habits!
We know you know this one! But it still doesn’t make it any less important. Brushing your teeth and flossing can hugely help your oral health.
The dentist can help identify any issues and give your teeth a good cleaning.
Smoking is a risk factor for oral disease and heart disease, so it’s best to avoid at all costs.
Studies have also shown that lowering your alcohol intake can help your oral health and heart health.
By learning more about your oral microbiome you can learn how to better care for your mouth.
Caring for your heart and mouth matters! Having a healthy oral environment can help keep you healthier overall. While caring for your heart is equally important. The two have similar ways to mitigate the risk of disease, and either condition can be detrimental to your health.