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    Home ›› Gum disease and heart disease

    Home ›› Gum disease and heart disease

    The connection between gum disease and heart disease

    6 min. read


    Did you know that there’s likely a direct linkage between the health of your teeth and gums and your heart health? Reserachers are investigating the potential causal relationship between oral health and overall health. While it is still early in their research, it's important to understand the potential connections and impacts to your physical wellbeing.


    Although your mouth and heart don't seem to be connected, there's a lot of evidence to suggest they are. In fact, people who take good care of their mouth are significantly more likely to have healthier hearts and cardiovascular systems than those who neglect their teeth and gums. *,** 


    Sure, people with diligent daily oral care routines tend to lead healthier lifestyles, overall, but there are several ways in which oral health conditions, like gum disease, can directly lead to heart disease.

    How to go from periodontitis gum disease to heart disease


    There are a couple of clear ways in which your mouth is a window to your heart, and even to the rest of your body:


    First, more and more research affirms that people with poor oral care routines are significantly more likely to be lacking in other self-care areas, like diet and exercise. Issues like swollen gums, gingivitis and early stages of tooth decay are important indicators of conditions in the rest of the body (like heart disease). 


    Second, the plaque- and gum disease-causing bacteria that build up in neglected mouths does not simply stay within the mouth.


    Bacteria that's allowed to grow and stick around in your mouth for too long might enter into the bloodstream providing a potential pathway to your heart, stomach and even toes (as research studies are indicating).***

    More and more research affirms that people with poor oral care routines are significantly more likely to be lacking in other self-care areas, like diet and exercise. I

    Don't ignore a pain in the mouth


    Ideally, you already visit the dentist every 6 months. Yes or no? 


    Statistically, more than 1 in 3 adults see their dentist less than once per year. Regardless of which category you fall into, though, it's important that you listen to your mouth.


    Whatever your dental routine, mouth sensitivity and pain are key indicators that you should consider seeing your dentist sooner than later. Remember, prolonged oral health issues may not just stay oral health issues.

    Can good oral hygiene help prevent heart disease?


    The long answer and short answer to this question are the same: it can't hurt. Realistically, there are many causes of heart disease. It would be irresponsible to say that improving and maintaining your oral care will prevent the development of heart related conditions. However, there's a growing body of scientific studies supporting the idea that your healthy mouth will contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.****


    It’s important to remember two things:


    1. everything is connected 
    2. it all starts in your mouth


    Take care of your mouth and your mouth will take care of you.

    Best practices to prevent gum disease


    You probably know (and may be tired of hearing) that brushing for 2 minutes, twice per day is ideal for a healthy oral care routine and to prevent gum diseases. What you may not be aware of, though, is that brushing for more than 2 minutes (3-5 minutes per brushing session), more than twice per day (i.e. after each meal), for 2 weeks can actually reverse both plaque buildup and gingivitis, if caught early enough. Daily flossing, rinsing with mouthwash and eating a low-sugar, low-starch diet will also help. 


    Do you hate to floss?


    If you do, consider using a Sonicare AirFloss interdental cleaner instead. The AirFloss triple-action spray has been clinically proven to clean in between teeth as effectively as flossing, without the mess.  


    And, if you’ve been noticing plaque buildup or gingivitis along your gum line, switching to an electric toothbrush is an excellent way to swiftly improve your oral health. 

    What you need

    Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro/Ultra - Interdental cleaner


    Healthier gums in 2 weeks, guaranteed*

    For those who don’t floss consistently, AirFloss Ultra is the easiest way to effectively clean between teeth. AirFloss Ultra can be used with mouthwash or water and is clinically proven as effective as floss for gum health.**

    See all benefits

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    * Dietrich T, Garcia RI. Associations between periodontal disease and systemic disease: Evaluating the strength of the evidence. J. Periodontol 2005;76:2175-2184

    ** Barnett ML. The oral-systemic disease connection. An update for the practicing dentist. J AM Dent Assoc 2006: 137 (suppl): 5S-6S

    *** Han YW, Wang X. Mobile microbiome: Oral bacteria in extra-oral infections and inflammation. J Dent Res 2013; 92: 485-49

    **** Aleksejuniene J, Holst D, Eriksen HM, Gjermo P. Psychosocial stress, lifestyle, and periodontal health. J Clin Periodontol 2002; 29: 326-335.

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