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The Oral Health Connection: Smile Your Way to a Healthy Heart

February 23, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — anthonyg @ 5:28 pm
Man with good oral health eating after a workout

What have you done to keep your heart healthy lately? If you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, how about brushing your teeth? It may sound strange, but it’s true! Keeping your oral health in check is also great for your heart health. This connection between oral health and heart health is often overlooked, but research has shown that the link is more than a coincidence.

If you’d like to learn how improving your oral health can help your heart stay in tip-top shape, continue reading.

The Heart-Smile Connection

Your mouth is like the ATM of the body—whatever you put into it, that’s what you’ll get out. This means the better your oral health, the more healthy other parts of your body will be, including your heart.

Gum disease, for example, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. This is because the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart, causing inflammation and damage to your arteries. 

What Can I Do to Keep My Heart Healthy?

Since your heart and smile are connected, taking care of one helps to take care of the other. Here are some great tips to help you improve both at the same time:

  • Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth and along the gumline.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year: Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can find any signs of gum disease or other oral health issues early on and provide treatment.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can benefit both your oral and cardiovascular health. Try to limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks to prevent enamel erosion and periodontitis.
  • Avoid tobacco: Smoking and using other tobacco products increases your risk of many ailments including oral cancer and heart disease. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can also contribute to oral inflammation and other issues. Prolonged exposure to cortisol, the stress hormone, weakens your immune system, leaving you exposed to oral or bodily infections. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or socializing, can benefit both your oral and cardiovascular health.

As you can see, by taking care of your smile, you’re also taking care of your heart! Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental care can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other ailments. So, if you want a strong heart and a bright smile, contact your dentist, and see what they can do!

About the Author

If you want a healthier smile, Dr. Anthony Giamberardino has the knowledge and experience to help you achieve that goal. He graduated from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine before working with Harvard Community Health Plan where he acted as a coordinator and dental expert. Then he opened his own practice, specializing in restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry. Call (781) 396-3800 to schedule an appointment at Giamberardino Dental Care, or visit the website to browse the other services they offer.

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