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Periodontal disease and heart health

If you’re worried about heart disease, you can easily spend thousands of dollars each year trying to prevent it, paying hand over fist for prescription medicines, shelves of healthy cookbooks, fitness machines for your home, and a gym membership.

Or maybe not. A number of recent studies suggest that you may already have a cheap and powerful weapon against heart attacks, strokes, and other heart disease conditions. It costs less than $2 and is sitting on your bathroom counter. It is none other than the humble toothbrush.

“There are a lot of studies that suggest that oral health, and gum disease, in particular, are related to serious conditions like heart disease,” says periodontist Sally Cram, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.

There used to be a time when brushing your teeth, flossing, and going to the office of a skilled Denver dentist was all about maintaining good oral hygiene, nothing more and nothing less. However, recent studies have established a link between good oral hygiene and a healthy heart. Thus, there is now an added benefit to brushing, flossing, and having your teeth and gums checked regularly.

Roughly 700 different types of bacteria call your mouth home, and not observing proper oral hygiene allows these bacteria to thrive, according to numerous research projects. Not only do these bacteria cause a bevy of dental illnesses, but they also ride down your throat when you swallow, increasing the risk of spreading these bacteria in your body. In fact, one study found that a certain bacteria strain that grows in an unclean mouth, when consumed, can harden and turn into heart plaque, clogging the arteries and causing heart attacks.

The simplest way to avoid these poor oral hygiene complications is, of course, to observe proper oral care like brushing teeth after every meal and flossing regularly. Keeping the prescribed twice-a-year visit to your trusted dentist in Denver, such as Dr. Keith Small of the Cody Dental Group, is another step towards good oral hygiene. Dentists can easily spot and treat any potential oral problems that can aid the growth of bacteria, such as plaque, cavities, and gingivitis.

(From Periodontal Disease and Heart Health,