Dental Problems and How They Can Affect Your Heart

It's common knowledge that excellent oral hygiene is vital to your overall health, but did you know it can also affect your heart?

Taking care of your teeth is important because poor dental habits and conditions can contribute to heart health issues. Let’s talk about the effects of dental issues on the heart as well as how good oral hygiene can help prevent them.

  1. Bacteria From Dental Cavities and Increased Risks of Heart Diseases

    Dental issues are linked to cardiovascular disease because of the bacteria that enter the bloodstream through infected gums or cavities.

    These bacteria can travel and accumulate in the blood vessels of the heart, disrupting normal blood flow and leading to inflammation. Furthermore, these bacteria emit toxins that cause further damage to the inner lining of these vessels.

    These toxins can cause the clumping of cells on vessel walls, resulting in the formation of plaque that narrows arteries and increases blood pressure. Ultimately, this could lead to an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.

  2. Stress From Dental Problems and Increased Blood Pressure

    Another way that oral health can potentially affect heart health is through dental problems or dental visit-related stress and discomfort.

    Dental pain or anxiety and the associated stress levels can result in a rise in blood pressure, which can put strain on the cardiovascular system.

    Several studies have been conducted to explore this connection, including the effects of anticipated stress from dental treatments on blood pressure and heart rate as well as the impact of the first dental visit on blood pressure value.

    To manage or reduce dental anxiety, stress, and fear, addressing any oral health issues promptly is essential. Regular dental examinations can help identify and treat potential problems before they progress.

  3. Poor Oral Health, Diabetes, and Heart Health

    Poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, and inflammation can all contribute to the growth of bacteria that can cause periodontal infections. These infections can cause discomfort and pain as well as impact blood sugar levels.

    People with diabetes need to take measures to maintain good oral health, such as avoiding refined sugars and sugary drinks, visiting the dentist regularly, and using a mouthwash or rinse with antibacterial properties.

    Good oral hygiene can help prevent or slow down the effects of gum disease and other related conditions for those with diabetes.

    People with diabetes are also more vulnerable to increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Additionally, diabetes can interfere with oxygen flow and result in fatigue or chest discomfort.

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help reduce risks of cardiac complications. It's also essential to collaborate with your healthcare provider to monitor and control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels.

Good Oral Health Is Necessary for Good Heart and Overall Health

Taking care of your teeth is essential for your overall well-being.

Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and any bacteria from entering the bloodstream that could cause inflammation or infection in other areas of the body, such as the heart.

If you have any concerns about your dental health, consult with your dentist, who can provide the necessary treatment and care. For dental care assistance in Ottawa, ON, Dow’s Lake Dental is happy to be of service.

Send our dental team a message, and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible. Learn more about dental health and heart health straight from one of our dentists.

More References:

  1. American Dental Association - Oral-Systemic Health

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Oral Health Conditions

  3. Harvard Health Publishing - Gum Disease and the Connection to Heart Disease

  4. Penn Medicine - The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

  5. - Blood Oxygen Saturation Is Lower in Persons With Pre-Diabetes and Screen-Detected Diabetes Compared With Non-Diabetic Individuals: A Population-Based Study of the Lolland-Falster Health Study cohort