Dental plaque linked to heart attacks? The Harvard Heart Letter published by the Harvard Medical School says it is very possible. The same bacteria found in someone’s mouth with gum disease have also been found in the atherosclerotic plaque that builds up in the heart and blood vessels causing heart disease.
It is also thought that bacteria from the mouth might harm blood vessels or even cause blood clots by releasing toxins that resemble proteins found in arteries and blood. These toxins cause the body’s immune system to respond in such a way that blood vessels are harmed.
There is also evidence that inflammation in the mouth caused by dental plaque increases inflammation throughout the body. This includes the arteries where the outcome could be a heart attack or stroke.
Although more research is needed on the link between dental plaque and heart disease, the Harvard Heart Letter concludes that it is wise to take care of your teeth and gums with daily brushing and flossing. This just may result not only in a healthier mouth but also a healthier heart.
If you’re learning about this for the first time you’re probably in a mild state of shock. Little did you know the far-reaching ramifications of not brushing and flossing your teeth each day.
It really is an investment in your health to spend some time and money on keeping your mouth as clean as possible. Until recently you were limited to a manual toothbrush, a piece of dental floss, and maybe some mouth rinse to keep the bacteria count down in your mouth.
But that has changed and the improvements are substantial. Power toothbrushes now make it possible to achieve a very high level of oral hygiene in your own home. These have been widely studied by dental researchers. One study published in The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry came to this conclusion:
This study evaluated the long-term effect of an ultrasonic toothbrush used as part of a daily oral hygiene regimen on supragingival plaque, gingivitis, and gingival bleeding. Compared with a conventional toothbrush, the ultrasonic toothbrush was significantly more effective in reducing plaque formation (p<0.05), removing plaque (p<0.05), and reducing gingivitis (p<0.05) during the 6-month study period.
There are several excellent models of power toothbrushes available today. I personally prefer the ultrasonic teeth cleaning action of the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus. It comes with:
- UV Toothbrush Sanitizer. Keeps germs from your mouth from growing on your toothbrush bristles when not in use.
- Timer. This lets you know when you’ve brushed long enough.
- Gentle cleaning action. Helps prevent the very common problem of brushing with too much pressure.
- Rechargeable base. Small design occupies minimal space on your bathroom countertop.
You can read reviews of the Sonicare by clicking here.
But what about flossing. I’ve just started using a new device a few months ago. It is awesome. Research is demonstrating that it is as good as or maybe even better than flossing with dental floss. This will change how you look at flossing. Get more information and read reviews by clicking here.