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5 tips for a healthy mouth & why it can impact your heart health

Mary Walsh

November 5, 2021
3

minute read

Reviewed by:

5 tips for a healthy mouth & why it can impact your heart health

Oral health and physical health are often talked about in two different spaces. Your dentists office visits may be in a completely different spot as your doctors office. Your dentist probably doesn’t talk to you about your physical health, just like your doctor doesn’t talk to you about your oral health. However, these two aspects of health are more related than you think! 

Learn more about how keeping a healthy mouth may help with heart health. 

Healthy Mouth & Heart Health 

Scientists believe we may be able to learn about overall health by looking at commonalties in specific diseases. In this case, discovering  what oral disease (mouth/teeth and gum disease) and heart disease have in common. 

Most research points to a causal relationship between oral disease and heart disease.  A causal relationship, meaning  one variable directly impacts another variable, one variable indirectly effects another variable.

The main associations between the two being, 

Oral Bacteremia 

Although less common of a  heart problem is infective endocarditis, which directly relates to oral health and the heart. Infective endocarditis is when bacteria is so prevalent in the mouth that it begins to enter the bloodstream. This bacteria starts from the mouth and then moves infecting the heart lining, blood vessels, or heart valve. 

Effect on metabolism 

Your oral health may be involved in lowering your metabolism- if your oral bacteria levels and you have gum disease. For example, in one study they found that those with gum disease had some cases of metabolic dysfunction. In another study, oral bacteria was found to influence cholesterol.  

Both indicate that practitioners should look to bacterial tests to predict the risk factors of cholesterol and metabolism problems. 

Hypertension 

Another variable that oral bacteria may influence is blood pressure. Or in scientific terms hypertension (known as high blood pressure). 

Research has shown that those with gum disease are more likely than otherwise healthy individuals to have high blood pressure. . 

5 Tips for a healthy mouth 

To keep your mouth happy and healthy (and perhaps your heart while you’re at it) you can build some simple habits! 

  1. Brush teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily

We know you know this one! But it still doesn’t make it any less important. Brushing your teeth and flossing can hugely help your oral health. 

  1.  Visit the dentist at least once a year

The dentist can help identify any issues and give your teeth a good cleaning. 

  1. Don’t smoke! 

Smoking is a risk factor for oral disease and heart disease, so it’s best to avoid at all costs. 

  1. Limit alcohol intake 

Studies have also shown that lowering your alcohol intake can help your oral health and heart health. 

  1. Learn more about your oral microbiome 

By learning more about your oral microbiome you can learn how to better care for your mouth. 

Key takeaway

Caring for your heart and mouth matters! Having a healthy oral environment can help keep you healthier overall. While caring for your heart is equally important. The two have similar ways to mitigate the risk of disease, and either condition can be detrimental to your health. 

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5 tips for a healthy mouth & why it can impact your heart health

August 30, 2022
Reviewed by:
David Lin, PhD
3
  minute read

Oral health and physical health are often talked about in two different spaces. Your dentists office visits may be in a completely different spot as your doctors office. Your dentist probably doesn’t talk to you about your physical health, just like your doctor doesn’t talk to you about your oral health. However, these two aspects of health are more related than you think! 

Learn more about how keeping a healthy mouth may help with heart health. 

Healthy Mouth & Heart Health 

Scientists believe we may be able to learn about overall health by looking at commonalties in specific diseases. In this case, discovering  what oral disease (mouth/teeth and gum disease) and heart disease have in common. 

Most research points to a causal relationship between oral disease and heart disease.  A causal relationship, meaning  one variable directly impacts another variable, one variable indirectly effects another variable.

The main associations between the two being, 

Oral Bacteremia 

Although less common of a  heart problem is infective endocarditis, which directly relates to oral health and the heart. Infective endocarditis is when bacteria is so prevalent in the mouth that it begins to enter the bloodstream. This bacteria starts from the mouth and then moves infecting the heart lining, blood vessels, or heart valve. 

Effect on metabolism 

Your oral health may be involved in lowering your metabolism- if your oral bacteria levels and you have gum disease. For example, in one study they found that those with gum disease had some cases of metabolic dysfunction. In another study, oral bacteria was found to influence cholesterol.  

Both indicate that practitioners should look to bacterial tests to predict the risk factors of cholesterol and metabolism problems. 

Hypertension 

Another variable that oral bacteria may influence is blood pressure. Or in scientific terms hypertension (known as high blood pressure). 

Research has shown that those with gum disease are more likely than otherwise healthy individuals to have high blood pressure. . 

5 Tips for a healthy mouth 

To keep your mouth happy and healthy (and perhaps your heart while you’re at it) you can build some simple habits! 

  1. Brush teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily

We know you know this one! But it still doesn’t make it any less important. Brushing your teeth and flossing can hugely help your oral health. 

  1.  Visit the dentist at least once a year

The dentist can help identify any issues and give your teeth a good cleaning. 

  1. Don’t smoke! 

Smoking is a risk factor for oral disease and heart disease, so it’s best to avoid at all costs. 

  1. Limit alcohol intake 

Studies have also shown that lowering your alcohol intake can help your oral health and heart health. 

  1. Learn more about your oral microbiome 

By learning more about your oral microbiome you can learn how to better care for your mouth. 

Key takeaway

Caring for your heart and mouth matters! Having a healthy oral environment can help keep you healthier overall. While caring for your heart is equally important. The two have similar ways to mitigate the risk of disease, and either condition can be detrimental to your health. 

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