Poor brushing could give you a heart attack

Written by Dr. Apurva Chavan

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

September 24, 2020

They say “A healthy heart starts with a healthy mouth” and you might not believe its actually true. But did you know healthy teeth and healthy gums also lead to a healthy heart? Recent studies show link between oral health and heart health and how poor brushing could give you a heart attack.

The American Academy of Periodontal Health says that people with poor oral hygiene and specifically periodontal disease are twice as likely to get heart diseases.

Relation between oral health and cardiovascular health

According to studies published by the American heart association poor oral health can lead to diseases like endocarditis and increase your chances of getting a stroke or even a heart attack. This is because when you have poor oral health your gums get damaged.

These damaged gums attract a wide variety of bacteria which then enter your blood stream and can reach your heart. These bacteria then attach themselves to damaged heart tissues causing inflammation which in turn causes heart diseases.

If you ignore your gums for a long time the gums may become swollen over a period of time and increase the level of C reactive protein in your blood. This protein can harm even a healthy heart and increase your chances of getting a heart attack. Patients with valve defects or artificial valves are more prone to develop heart attacks.

Gum infections dawn with improper brushing

Improper brushing may leave behind the plaque and food particles between your teeth. It is this plaque that is the culprit of your gum diseases. If you experience a dull pain in your jaws it could be a sign of a gum disease. Gum diseases are often ignored because they do not cause alot of pain.

Here are a few signs that you may have a gum disease –
– Your gums appear to be more reddish in colour than before.

-Gums appear to be swollen and puffy.

– Bleeding on brushing or eating firm foods like apple.
– You notice small empty spaces between your teeth.
– You feel like something is stuck in between your teeth.

– You feel like some teeth have become loose and are moving.
– Sometimes bad taste or smell may persist even after brushing your teeth.

How to prevent gum diseases for a healthy heart?

  • Visit your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least once a year.
  • Give your dentist your complete medical history along with the list of medications you are on before starting your dental treatment.
  • Before planning for any heart surgeries make sure you  visit your dentist for a checkup.
  • Do not forget to floss your teeth regularly and ask your dentist to check your gums if you bleed every time you floss.
  • And finally the low cost low risk option of brushing your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes daily.

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Author Bio: Dr. Apurva Chavan is a dentist by the day and a voracious reader and writer by the night. She loves to fix smiles and tries to keep all her procedures as pain free as possible. Equipped with over 5 years of experience she loves to not just treat her patients but also educate them about dental hygiene and appropriate maintanence routines. After a long day of preserving smiles she loves to curl up with a good book or pen down some of life’s musings. She strongly belives that learning never stops and likes to keep her self updates with all the latest dental news and research.

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