Heart Disease and Oral Hygiene

Heart Disease and Oral Hygiene

Put off the dentist and your smile isn’t the only thing that can suffer: Poor oral hygiene could hurt your heart health, suggests a new study from Finland.

After examining the teeth and the arteries of more than 500 people, the researchers discovered that those need of a root canal were nearly 3 times more likely to have acute coronary syndrome—a clogging of the heart’s arteries that can cause a heart attack—than patients with healthy teeth.

Bacteria from the tooth infection may spread to other parts of the body including the heart. What was not studied and possibly of greater import was the level of inflammation in the body as measured by inflammatory proteins in the blood. At higher levels, c-reactive proteins indicate a high level of inflammation which in turn is associated with many systemic diseases, not just heart disease. An unclean or infected mouth will raise the level of c-reactive proteins in the blood. It’s imperative to maintain your oral hygiene and keep up with your cleanings.

Resources & References

  1. Association of Endodontic Lesions with Coronary Artery Disease > https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034516660509

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