Healthy Teeth. Healthy Heart?

Healthy_Teeth_and_Heart.jpgPaying attention to your dental hygiene may pay you back with more than just a polished, healthy smile. It may keep your heart healthy, too!


A consensus report published in the Journal of Periodontology and the American Journal of Cardiology found these potential links between dental hygiene and heart health:

  • Gum disease is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
  • A study of more than 50,000 people found that those with fewer teeth and gum disease had a higher risk of stroke.
  • There may be a direct link between clogged arteries in the legs and gum disease.
  • The bacteria we find in gum disease can also be found in blood vessels that are going through atherosclerosis.
  • Inflammation is another common denominator for both diseases. When people have moderate to severe gum disease, it increases the risk of having a heart attack.

There is no proof that dental hygiene and heart health are related, but there are a number of ways to help keep your smile and heart healthy:

For a bright, healthy smile:

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months—or sooner if the bristles become bent.

For a healthy, beating heart:

  • Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, try to quit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  • Control blood pressure.
  • Practice relaxation methods, such as meditation or yoga.

For more information, visit or check out our online WPS Health Center.

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