Heart disease and gum disease

Here’s an interesting thing to ponder: For decades, researchers have noted a strong correlation between heart disease and poor oral hygiene. In fact, according to an article on WebMD, people with periodontal diseases like gingivitis are twice as likely to also have heart disease than people with healthy mouths.

Interestingly, a similar correlation has been found between gum disease and diabetes.

What does the link mean?

Researchers haven’t yet been able to pin down what exactly the connection between oral hygiene and heart disease is. Do gum infections or having a lot of plaque on the teeth impact heart health in some way? Some researchers have proposed that when the bacteria from plaque and gingivitis enter the bloodstream through the gums, they may affect the arteries.

But so far there’s no hard proof that poor oral hygiene causes heart disease. (There’s also no proof that it goes the other way around, with heart disease causing gum infection, which has also been suggested.) We just know that the two diseases are linked somehow.

Keep those gums healthy!

So while we can’t promise that brushing well will keep your heart healthy, it’s still something to keep in mind. And we can guarantee that gum disease, cavities and other tooth problems are unpleasant experiences you’ll will want to avoid in the first place!

Of course, keeping your teeth clean can be a bit more of a challenge with braces—but a few special tools and careful techniques can keep your mouth clean and disease-free. If you need to “brush up” on good oral hygiene habits for orthodontic work, check out our braces care guide.

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