This post was written on Valentines Day, a day dedicated to love, roses and hearts. What a good opportunity to look at the heart (the one beating in your chest) and to explore the relationship between oral health and heart health.
Many studies show that people who experience heart disease also have poor oral health, particularly gum disease. However, to date, there has been no clear evidence proving that the presence of gum disease will cause heart disease in an individual.
Heart disease and gum disease may appear together because each is caused by the same risk factors. For example, poor nutrition or tobacco use are risk factors for both.
Others have theorised that the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and eventually blood clots that cause heart attacks. Another theory is that the body will develop antibodies to the bacteria, and it is these that attack the blood vessel walls.
This article from ABC Health & Wellbeing provides a great summary of some of the theories about the link between oral health and heart health.
Regardless, we think that it is important to do everything you can to keep both your mouth and your heart healthy. You will find plenty of information on our website about how to keep your teeth and gums clean, and the most tooth-friendly foods and drinks to enjoy.
Some articles for further reading: