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Java Burn-Are your teeth connected to your heart?

by fiona basil (2021-11-16)

There are people who religiously brush and floss 2-3 times a day, as taught by our dentist or at school. Another type are the ones that mostly only brush in the morning or at night and may or may not floss. Then there are the ones that can brush once a week or a month or whenever they do. Perhaps if you are one of those who do not do it very often, you may be interested to know that scientists now explain how brushing your teeth keeps your heart healthy.

It's not that brushing your teeth is difficult, but getting it right is a bit of a pain. Do you brush well when you get out of bed in the morning? That doesn't seem right because you're going to have coffee and breakfast in an hour.

It may be better to brush them afterwards. Cleaning up after lunch doesn't happen for probably 95% of us. Brushing before bed is the simplest of all, but also easy to skip because "But man, I'm so tired."

It seems necessary to instill good dental hygiene in childhood, and if not, it might be quite a difficult habit to start as an adult. However, brushing your teeth now isn't just about bad breath, cavities, and yellow teeth.

Now, there may be a heavier motivator: heart health.

Healthy dental hygiene routine

Most of us are familiar with the way our teeth accumulate plaque and tartar, which is a buildup of bacteria that later calcifies.

Over time, it erodes the teeth and gum line. As more teeth are exposed by the receding gum line, that decay can move to the root and nerve of the tooth. This process is called periodontal disease.

The receding, swollen gum line is called gingivitis. Eventually, all the bacteria accumulated in the root and nerve can become so painful that the tooth must be removed.

A buildup of sugars and plaque on the crown of molar teeth can create cavities or a hole in the tooth. This decay leads to a shaft that must be filled, or the tooth will eventually crack, needing to be removed.

None of that is fun in the long run and results in a dental visit and a bill that no one wants. The growth of any of these bacteria can cause bad breath.

A dental hygiene routine should include

Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, preferably three times, for two minutes. A soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste are recommended.

Use dental floss or a flossing system to clean between teeth.

Using mouthwash not only to rinse out long-lasting particles but also to freshen your breath.

Rinse your mouth after eating sugars. Do not consume sugary substances right before bed without brushing your teeth.

Replace your toothbrush every three months, or whenever it looks frayed and uneven.

Visit a dentist for cleanings and checkups every three months.

Oral tobacco use or smoking is unhealthy for your teeth or mouth.

If you tend to get dry mouth from medications, use an over-the-counter treatment designed for dry mouth. Our saliva is designed to help limit the growth of bacteria.

A healthy diet with fruits and vegetables is not only good for building healthy teeth, but it can also help remove sugars and plaque from your teeth between brushings.

Certain diseases, such as diabetes or HIV / AIDS, can exasperate oral health. Knowing this beforehand makes it even more important to maintain good dental hygiene. Also, weak tooth care can add complications to these and other diseases.

The link between brushing your teeth and heart health

The need to maintain a balance of bacteria in and on our bodies is increasingly recognized. This is no different for bacteria, which are in our mouths. Our mouth is the first direct connection to the rest of our body through our esophagus.

When we have an influx of harmful bacteria in our mouth due to bad dental habits, it is shown to cause conditions or diseases throughout the body. The correlation of the balance of our oral bacteria, poor dental practices and the health of our heart seems to be multiple.

1 - Rinsing decreases beneficial nitric oxide in our mouth

Nitric oxide is a chemical created by our body, which has been shown to have many benefits related to our respiratory system and therefore affects the health of our heart. Help in:

  • Produce mucus
  • Dilate our vascular and bronchial tubes.
  • It influences the inflammatory cells in our lungs.
  • Neurotransmitter for neurons within the bronchial wall.

Due to these effects, it is crucial for the body's ability to transport oxygen throughout the body to the organs, including the heart. In turn, it influences our blood pressure and the effectiveness of how our heart works.

One study examined how bacteria in our mouths influence nitric oxide production. Nitrite is required to break down before it can form nitric oxide.

While it is still nitric, it is transferred to our mouth through saliva, where it then meets the bacteria in our mouth and breaks down. Scientists discovered that a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine antiseptic decreased the bacteria in our mouth.

Therefore, it reduced the formation of nitric oxide. The result was an increase in the subjects' systolic blood pressure. This change was observed after one week with a twice daily use of the mouthwash.

2 - Poor oral hygiene related to atrial fibrillation and heart failure

It is understood that the bacteria in our mouth travels to other parts of our body. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, showed that this transfer of bacteria led to inflammation. 161,286 subjects were monitored for more than ten years.

None had a history of heart problems. During their observation time, 4,911 cases of atrial fibrillation were reported and 7,971 cases of heart failure occurred.

After ruling out all other genetic and health factors, it was ruled out that subjects who had not brushed their teeth three or more times a day, or who did not visit the dentist for check-ups, were indicative of those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Those with multiple missing teeth due to tooth decay were more indicative of heart failure.

3 - Stroke patients are found to have bacteria from their mouth on the brain

Recently, a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association by a Finnish group that had been investigating the possibility of oral bacteria linked to ischemic strokes.

They investigated blood clots found in 75 stroke victims of the DNA of a specific bacteria, viridian streptococci, commonly found in the mouth.

This bacteria is also believed to be the cause of endocarditis, an infection that affects the valves, muscles, and wall of the heart. These same bacteria have been isolated from some patients who had heart attacks, brain aneurysms, or blood clots in the legs.

While the American Heart Association has yet to state this evidence as certain contributing factors to heart attacks or strokes, they do acknowledge the strength of your relationship's possibilities.

Additional concrete evidence must be presented before your dental hygiene is added to the list of heart healthy things to do for longevity. Still, many scientists and doctors are beginning to warn patients of certain additional risk factors.

Final thoughts

Who would have thought that brushing your teeth could one day prevent a heart attack or stroke? It has already been recognized that poor mouth care can complicate other conditions or worsen other conditions, creating a cycle of disease. Brushing your teeth for heart health early may be a more important motivator to consider when you want to skip that session.

Where it used to be your mother or father telling you to brush your teeth, now scientists are explaining that brushing your teeth keeps your heart healthy. In short, brushing your teeth and seeing a dentist for check-ups can be the two-minute miracle of keeping your heart healthy.

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