Often healthcare providers refer to our mouths as being the window to our body. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”, it’s easy to imagine what we see inside our mouths can indicate systemic health.
There is mounting evidence suggesting that the health of our gums is related to cardiac health, and vice versa. The primary factor in heart disease is inflammation of the vessels. The definition of gum disease is inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues. Bacteria and their toxins cause inflammation, and can be found in both the heart and mouth.
Oral bacteria cause gum tissue to increase blood flow to help manage the infection, this is why your gums bleed if they are neglected. The increased blood flow allows the bacteria to seep into the bloodstream, letting the inflammatory bacteria move throughout the vascular system and into the heart. The same bacteria found in the mouth is also found in the “plaques” of hardened arteries.
Bottom line: keep the bacteria count down in your mouth by maintaining excellent hygiene (brushing, flossing and antibacterial mouthwash) and your heart will thank you!
C Read RDH