Dental health and heart disease
Each part of our body is connected to one another. It might seem to you that an adverse condition on one part of your body won’t affect the other, but they are more dependent on each other than you anticipate. One such connection lies between your teeth and heart. At a single glance, it might be difficult for you to understand how both of them are related, but all your confusion will be cleared after we explain to you how your dental health affects your heart. Let’s get to it!
Does Oral Health Affect Your Heart?
When your doctor recommends you to maintain healthy gums and teeth, they aren’t only doing so to keep your bad breath and cavities at check. Your oral health has far-reaching benefits that can determine your lifespan.
It has been hinted by medical practitioners around the globe that your chances of combating cardiovascular diseases will be way better if you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes.
A recent study conducted by the American Heart Association (AMA) analyzed the tooth-brushing behaviour of 682 people to understand the connection between periodontal diseases and heart diseases and how oral health causes heart diseases. The results pointed out that those who brush less than twice a day for less than two minutes have three times higher risks of contracting heart diseases than those who brushed their teeth twice or more daily for more than two minutes.
Usually, when people think of oral health, they assume it’s all about their teeth. However, the conditions of your gums and tongue also have a pivotal role in your overall oral health. It has been suggested that gum diseases lead to inflammation, which is a primary contributor to cardiovascular ailments. Besides, unhealthy gums can also result in worsening your blood pressure and causing hypertension, and in turn, stress. So, as you can see, the chain reaction even connects your mental health. Who would’ve thought?
To simplify the answer to the question of how dental health affects your heart, let us give you an easy example. Your mouth is the gateway to your nutrition intake. So naturally, if the platform (in this case, your mouth’s health) is unhealthy, it will be reflected in your overall health. Now, let’s break it down to understand it in detail.
The Relationship between Oral and Heart Health
Our heart is simply the most hard-working organ in our body, pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout our body 24*7. To lay down the statistics, our heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood every day, or 6 quartz of blood every minute.
Now, you must be wondering why are we talking about the functionality of the heart while discussing oral health. Well, this is because the bloodstream that is generated by the heart has the potential to get exposed to bacteria and other germs through our mouth since it is the most exposed part of our body. They can easily enter the bloodstream and fix themselves to the blood vessels, thereby, entering your heart. It poses a serious threat to the cardiovascular system since they have the potential to cause inflammation. As a result, you unknowingly allow your dental health to negatively affect your heart.
The most common form of illness that results from it is endocarditis, which occurs when the inner lining of your heart gets infected. These oral bacteria can also cause stroke and atherosclerosis, which happens when your arteries get clogged. While on the topic, let’s listen to what eminent dental expert Dr. Roaa Talal have to say regarding this.
Symptoms of Bad Dental Health
You know your oral health is deteriorating when you see the following symptoms:
- Swollen, red gums
- Bleeding gum, especially when you brush, floss, or eat
- Loose-end teeth
- Continuous bad breath
- Pus-oozing gums
Apart from these symptoms, if you are a patient of gingivitis, then your dental health can affect your heart severely.
Scheduling a Visit to the Dentist
It’s a shame that we don’t prioritize our dental health as much as we should. Just question yourself, when was the last time you went to a dental clinic for a regular check-up?
The fact of the matter is that most of us don’t book an appointment with our dentists until and unless we have a toothache or we want to go for a teeth whitening process, and that is exactly where the problem lies. There is a reason why precaution is preferred over cure. If you refuse to go the extra mile to take care of your dental health, you will have a price to pay.
What is even more worrying is that sometimes your teeth and gums may appear healthy to the naked eye, but from a medical perspective, they might be vulnerable to a bunch of disease-carrying bacteria. When you keep your dental appointment on hold, you are invariably allowing your dental health to affect your heart.
We understand that visiting a dental clinic can be intimidating and, scary, but trust us, if you don’t schedule an appointment with a dentist soon enough, the chances of the condition getting worse increases.
You must make sure that you are under safe hands when it comes to your dental health since this article has probably given you an idea as to how interconnected your heart is to your oral health and how poor dental health can cause heart diseases. Our certified dental practitioners at 7DMC will not only help you understand your oral health better, but they will do it while putting you at ease.
Getting treated at an earlier stage helps in effortlessly tackling the harmful bacteria. You don’t want to allow the bacteria to reach the innermost layer of your teeth, which can call for a root canal. Having regular dentist appointments can avoid that. Take a look at this video to understand the different layers of teeth.
Apart from fixing an appointment with your dentist, make sure you brush twice daily for at least two minutes. Also, try and floss once daily. Eat a lot of green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and lettuce, and calcium-based foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese to maintain a healthy dental life. At the same time, don’t forget to pop in a nut such as almond, cashew, or Brazilian nut now and then to improve your oral health.
Remember, the next time you make the extra effort to take care of your oral health, you are not doing it to get that million-dollar smile only. You are also boosting your heart’s health and thereby giving yourself the chance to live healthier!
Paula Sanchez, Bronwyn Everett, Yenna Salamonson, Shilpi Ajwani, Joshua Bishop, Samantha Nolan, Julie Redfern, Fiona Skarligos, Ravi Srinivas, Ajesh George, and Katriina Aalto-Setala – NCBI – Oral health and cardiovascular care: Perceptions of people with cardiovascular disease. Available at:
Prasad Dhadse, Deepti Gattani, and Rohit Mishra – NCBI – The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades? Available at:
Shin-Young Park, Sun-Hwa Kim, Si-Hyuck Kang, Chang-Hwan Yoon, Hyo-Jung Lee, Pil-Young Yun, Tae-Jin Youn, and In-Ho Chae – Oxford Academic – Improved oral hygiene care attenuates the cardiovascular risk of oral health disease: a population-based study from Korea. Available at:
Robert H. Shmerling – Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School – Gum disease and the connection to heart disease. Available at:
Jukka H Meurman, Mariano Sanz, and Sok-Ja Janket – ResearchGate – Oral Health, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease. Available at: