Did you know that there’s a direct correlation between oral health and the health of your heart? According to a recent study, people who brush their teeth at least three times a day have significantly lower risks associated with heart issues. Specifically, patients with good oral hygiene reduce their risk of atrial fibrillation by 10 percent, while risk of heart failure drops by 12 percent. Here’s how oral health can impact the heart.

Periodontal Disease and Heart Problems

Periodontal disease—also known as gum disease—is a severe form of infection and inflammation that occurs after plaque turns into tartar and the tartar begins to work its way into the gum line. It’s often marked by bleeding gums, tenderness, and can even result in tooth loss. When the bacteria in the mouth find their way into the gum line, they enter the body by way of the bloodstream. This, in turn, spreads the unhealthy substance throughout the body. That bacteria can then begin to line the walls of veins and blood vessels, restricting blood flow and narrowing the pathway in the arteries.

Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease by about 20%. In other words, people who brush regularly may be less likely to develop cardiovascular issues than people who neglect their oral health and subsequently develop gum disease.

The Link Between Poor Oral Health and Cardiovascular Disease

It’s possible that people who neglect good oral health also neglect other facets of their overall health. For example, people who don’t brush correctly or don’t see their dentists regularly may also be prone to avoiding exercise or eating poorly. These factors can also contribute to stroke, heart failure, AFib, and other heart illnesses.

On the other hand, people who take care of their overall health by exercising regularly and eating healthy are likely more inclined to take care of their oral health, too. In an interesting study, data showed that people who exercise vigorously at least three times a week were between 55 and 75 percent less likely to develop periodontal disease. As mentioned, periodontal disease can be a major contributing factor to heart disease and heart-related health issues. 

It’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional teeth cleanings and to brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day. The more frequently you brush, the better for your teeth, gums, and heart. 

If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder such as atrial fibrillation, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A today. Our team of EP doctors have been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa, and Sun City Center for over a decade.

About Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A.

The experienced electrophysiologists of Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. have been serving West Florida including Sarasota, Venice, Tampa, Port Charlotte, and Sun City Center for over 15 years. Our specialty cardiologists, or EP doctors, help patients manage their abnormal heart rhythm conditions, whether they suffer from arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AFib), or other irregular heartbeats. Dr. Dilip J. Mathew, Dr. Antonio Moretta, and Dr. Rajesh Malik perform arrhythmia treatments like cardiac ablation, cryoablation, and implanting pacemakers or defibrillators. Dr. Mathew has performed nearly 5,000 complex cardiac ablations. View our office locations in Sarasota and Venice, Florida.