The connection between oral hygiene and heart issues is well known. Doctors have been warning their patients about this for more than a century. In the distant past, doctors believed this for reasons that were later proved false. But in recent history, the dots between the two were connected and supported by actual facts. Today, doctors can discuss concrete evidence found on your teeth that may cause you heart problems.

How Does Gum Disease Affect the Heart?

The primary reason doctors believed there is a connection between our teeth and heart issues is that the two always came together. One of the most popular theories about this connection claimed bacteria that affect out gums could also get into our bloodstream. The toxins found in these bacteria would later cause havoc in our arteries. Others argued that both conditions are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels. This happens because of bacteria that came into our body through the mouth.

Now, neither of these theories was proven by doctors or scientists, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t close. A recent study by Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden discovered that our arteries get narrower if we suffer from gum disease. The connection between the two is now more apparent than ever. But most doctors will tell you that there isn’t a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Heart Disease: What Your Teeth May Tell You About Your Heart

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An Increased Risk for Heart Disease

So heart disease isn’t directly caused by poor oral hygiene, but the two nonetheless have a strong connection. People who still have their teeth are 50% less likely to die from heart disease than those who no longer have them. People without teeth have an 85% chance of suffering and dying from various cardiovascular issues or having a stroke. With every lost tooth, you have more chance to suffer from conditions such as hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

Heart disease and gum disease are related because they share some risk factors, such as:

  • age
  • tobacco use
  • stress
  • obesity
  • poor nutrition

But you shouldn’t think that keeping your teeth in order will help you avoid heart disease. If you have issues with your gums, you are a step closer to having heart disease or stroke. But gum disease won’t cause them directly.

Oral Hygiene for Heart Health

Regardless of everything we said above, keeping good care of your teeth is a good thing for your heart. People who have good teeth tend to have fewer issues with heart disease. If you already have heart problems, flossing your teeth won’t improve your current state, but it is good to keep your teeth in line. The best thing to do is to learn as much as you can about risk factors for both gum and heart disease so that you can counter them both at the same time.

Want Healthier Gums? Eat More of These Foods

So now that you know that having healthy gums is essential, you might want to know how to do it. The best way is the natural way. Everyone knows how to take care of their teeth, but gums are often overlooked. The easiest and healthiest way to do this is through the food you eat. Luckily, having healthy gums includes eating a variety of foods. The most often recommended foods by both doctors and nutritionists include:

  • onions
  • leafy greens like kale and spinach
  • green tea
  • oranges
  • kiwis
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • peppers
  • mushrooms
  • celery
  • carrots
  • apples
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
Heart Disease: What Your Teeth May Tell You About Your Heart

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