Most people are aware that plaque buildup on teeth is bad for dental health, and many people have heard that arterial plaque can lead to severe heart health problems. But, did you know that the two may be related? Though different in nature, both arterial and dental plaque have been noted as occurring together in most cases. Find out the relationship between the two and learn what you can do about it.
What's the Connection?
Plaque in your arteries is not the same as plaque that builds up on your teeth. Yet, it has been noted that those with gum disease, which can be caused by plaque, tend to have arterial plaque buildup too.
Why is that? Because plaque on teeth is caused by harmful bacteria that lingers from the junk food you eat. The bacteria can result in periodontal disease, and sometimes travel from your mouth to your arteries through your bloodstream.
The arteries in your heart can then become diseased, which greatly increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Herein lies the dangerous result of poor dental hygiene.
What Can You Do about It?
While the studies linking periodontal disease and heart disease are still inconclusive, there's strong support that suggests the bad bacteria in your gums can eventually get clogged in arterial fat. It's always better to err on the side of caution, just to be safe.
If you feel your gums are tender and bleeding, and your teeth are too sensitive or ache, make an appointment to see your dentist today. He or she may discover that you have periodontal disease. Once you have been diagnosed with it, do not ignore it. Follow these suggestions:
- Get your teeth and mouth thoroughly cleaned regularly at you dentist's office. Semi-annual visits are the norm.
- Have your dentist deep-clean your dental roots, which is called scaling.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two full minutes. Work on reaching the back teeth and brushing your gums, too.
- Use a tongue scraper to get rid of any buildup on your tongue.
- Floss your teeth every day. It may be slightly painful and cause bleeding at first. That's because you have gum disease and your gums are very sensitive.
- Avoid eating foods that cause dental plaque, such as sticky candies, potato chips, and sugar-laden sweets.
- To lessen the chance of getting arterial plaque buildup, avoid eating fried food and foods high in trans-fats.
You really need to take good care of your teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene not only leads to cavities and possible tooth removal, but can cause inflammation, and lead to possible heart-clogging health problems. Clean and care for your teeth to prevent plaque and stave off a host of other health problems. Talk with a dentist, like Brant N Olson, DDS PA., to see how you can maintain a healthy mouth and body.