We recommend going to the dentist regularly to avoid tooth decay and gum disease, but you may have read online that your teeth can tell if you have heart disease or diabetes before you go to the doctor. Is it true? Let’s dig in a little deeper.
Can You Avoid Heart Disease by Taking Care of Your Teeth?
You’re looking through your Facebook feed when you see an article that a friend has shared: Bad Brushing Habits Cause Heart Disease. Like most headlines on the internet, this one is both true and exaggerated to get you to click and read more.
In reality, we don’t know what the link is between heart disease and oral health. But we do know that there is a link because many scientific studies have shown it. Bad brushing habits aren’t the only thing that can lead to heart disease, but as more research comes out on the subject, it’s at least important to make sure you always brush for the recommended two minutes, twice a day. Even though it’s not the point of this blog post, it’s important to note that recent studies have found a link between the bacteria in plaque on your teeth and dementia.
How Oral Health Affects Heart Disease?
So how does the health of your mouth affect the health of your heart? There’s still some debate about whether this is a coincidence or a cause, but it’s looking more and more like bad oral health may actually lead to heart disease. How does that work? Scientists think that inflammation is to blame.
Periodontitis, which is the name for gum disease, is an inflammatory disease. It causes inflammation to happen all the time in the body, which is a sign of cardiovascular disease. Gum disease can also make blood pressure worse, which is another thing that can lead to heart problems.
If you don’t take care of your teeth, bacteria infections in your mouth are more likely to spread to other parts of your body. If you have an infection in your blood, it can damage your heart valves and make your carotid arteries thicker.
How Diabetes Can Hurt Your Teeth?
Diabetes and gum disease are more linked than you might think. When there is a lot of glucose in the blood, like when someone has diabetes, it is harder for the body to fight off infections. Infections can start in the mouth, especially if the blood sugar level is high, which can make bacteria in the mouth grow. This is the perfect time for gum disease to start.
As the body tries to fight off the infection, gum disease makes blood sugar rise. This is especially troublesome for people with diabetes, but it can also happen to people who don’t have diabetes.
Your dentist can’t just look at your teeth and tell if you have diabetes or heart disease. We can tell from the condition of your teeth and gums if you might have other health problems you don’t know about. Even oral bacteria in plaque have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in studies that came out this year.
Aside from taking care of your teeth at home, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to go to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. We can’t wait to meet you. Contact us today to set up an exam at our office in Hyderabad, which is easy to get to.
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