How healthy teeth leads to a healthy heart
This World Heart Day, we should also be focusing on our teeth. This is why, according to a dentist.
The link between oral health and a healthy heart is stronger than you might have realised, and this World Heart Day. People with poor oral health have an increased number of bad bacteria, which can travel through your bloodstream to your stomach and heart, and create serious health problems.
What are some of the ways we can reduce our risk of heart disease through maintaining good oral heath?
The first step in reducing your risk of heart disease is awareness of the link with oral health. The foods we eat and their impact on our oral health and bodies as a whole is a key factor so eating a healthy, balanced diet is something which can make a significant difference to your heart and oral health. Properly brushing teeth twice a day, and flossing are also important for a good oral health routine.
Bad bacteria from gum disease in the mouth can be breathed into the lungs or travel there through the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can cause white blood cells (immunity cells) to become less effective resulting in an increased risk to respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis and even Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
What symptoms should we be aware of which indicate poor oral health?
The barrier between the gum and the tooth is critical to protecting the important nerves and blood flow and if the barrier is compromised, infections in the body can occur. It is important to be aware of periodontal disease symptoms as sometimes they can be painless. They may include swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums, gums that receded or move away from the tooth, persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth, loose teeth, or visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums.
Do you have any top tips for improving a healthcare routine?
1. Brush at a 45-degree angle
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle (downward for your bottom teeth and upward for your top teeth) and by using a gentle circle movement the bristles will clean under the gum line where plaque can reside.
If you have an electric toothbrush, you will only need to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and move the brush along your top and bottom teeth.
2. Brush your teeth gently
Brushing harder doesn’t mean you will clean your teeth more effectively, in fact, it can even damage your oral health. As long as you reach all areas of your mouth in a gentle manner with the correct technique you’ll be able to clean your teeth without damage. Again, invest in a quality brush, ideally an electric brush which you can more easily glide across your teeth for the full two minutes instead of brushing back and forth in a harsh manner.
3. Don’t rinse your mouth with water immediately after brushing
Don’t rinse immediately after brushing as this will wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste which will continue to protect your teeth.
4. Brush before meals
Avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating and drinking as most types of foods and drinks can weaken your enamel and brushing too soon will cause further damage. This is particularly important after acidic foods and drinks. Be sure to drink plenty of water after eating and drinking, and if you are in a rush to work or have a set routine, brush your teeth before eating breakfast.
5. Brush your teeth for two minutes
We all know that we need to brush our teeth for two minutes, however, on average a person will only spend 45 seconds brushing their teeth. Try walking around the house or watching television while you brush your teeth, you’re more likely to spend the recommend two minutes.
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