Our teeth contribute to many illnesses and diseases, including dementia, diabetes and oral cancer, to name just a few. However, you might be surprised to hear that healthy teeth make for a healthy heart. Studies suggest that bad oral hygiene is strongly linked to some major cardiovascular health issues, which can become fatal if left untreated.
Experts suggest that brushing your teeth twice a day (for at least two minutes) may lower the risk of cardiovascular issues, as well as regular flossing and dental checkups.
Did you know, brushing your teeth regularly lowers your heart failure risk by 12%? Maintaining your oral hygiene is a low-cost way of maintaining your general heart health. This means that oral hygiene should be a part of your every-day routine, for healthy teeth and gums.
Our experienced dental clinic London specialists have created the following guide so that you can fully understand the health issues linking the teeth and heart. So if you’re experiencing any dental problems, you’ll know when to visit your dentist or doctor.
The Effects of Endocarditis
Endocarditis is a serious heart condition which is developed by infected gums when the bacteria spreads to the inner lining of the heart. Endocarditis can develop into further cardiovascular problems, including an increase in the risk of a heart attack.
The main symptoms of infected gums include sensitive gums which often bleed during brushing and flossing. Infected gums are often caused by poor oral hygiene. If you are noticing any of these symptoms, it’s critical to visit your London dentist as soon as possible for a dental checkup, who will also be able to advise you on whether you should consult your doctor.
Endocarditis can be described as the infection in the lining of the heart and the inflammation of the heart valves. If left untreated, endocarditis can be a fatal condition. If you’re worried about endocarditis, you should look out for the potential symptoms, including fever, feeling sick, shortness of breath and generally feeling weak. Treatment usually includes an intense course of antibiotics.
The Effects of Untreated Cavities
If cavities are left untreated for too long, they can cause the gums to recede, which then becomes a breeding ground for bacteria to hide. This is commonly referred to as a periodontal disease, which is often associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.
If the bacteria does manage to get into the bloodstream, it can harden the arteries of the heart, which is known as atherosclerosis. This increases the risk of having a heart attack by causing issues with blood flow and artery blockages.
The main symptoms of untreated cavities include sensitive teeth, with a sharp pain when consuming something cold or hot, toothache, the staining of any surface of a tooth or a slight painful twinge when biting down.
The Effects of Diabetes
Diabetes is known to have a strong connection between cardiovascular disease, but you may be surprised to hear that diabetes also has a strong link to periodontal disease, too. Bacteria and plaque buildup is more common in those suffering from diabetes, due to the lack of saliva and high blood sugar levels, leading to a dry mouth.
Another common gum disease linked to diabetes is gingivitis, which is caused by poor oral hygiene and can progress to periodontal disease if left untreated. Whilst gingivitis is easy to treat, the gums can become more painful than usual, making it difficult to consume food.
Those suffering from diabetes are advised to control their diet, otherwise, they’re at a greater risk of having dental problems. With diabetes, the blood supply to the gums is highly reduced, resulting in a higher chance of gum infections.
Major symptoms to look out for include bleeding or painful gums, bad breath and regular infections. If you’re a diabetic, you’ll need to make your dentist aware, whilst keeping your sugar levels under control and rinsing regularly with an antiseptic mouthwash. You should also maintain good dental care and blood sugar control. It may also benefit you to have periodontal treatment. If you smoke, you should quit.
How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
In order to keep your teeth healthy, you’ll need to practice good oral hygiene on a regular basis. Your dentist can only do so much, however, with most of the maintenance of your teeth coming down to you. The basics everyone knows, but there are some surprising things that affect your teeth’s health that you can keep in mind in everyday life.
It’s important to remember that oral hygiene should never be compromised, and should be an every-day part of your routine. This means that you should:
- Brush the teeth for two minutes, twice a day
- Brush your tongue (to remove hidden bacteria)
- Use a toothpaste which contains fluoride
- Floss the teeth daily
- Limit your sugar intake (including sugary foods and sugary drinks)
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Avoid smoking tobacco
- Have regular dental checkups with your dentist
If you frequently read our blogs, you may have read some additional helpful tips on protecting your teeth.
What to do When The Worst Happens
So you’ve not been following these steps, or you’re just incredibly unlucky. Now what? Luckily Hermes London Dental Clinic can accommodate your emergency dental needs. The convenient Dentist in Victoria London will find you an appointment whether you’re a new or returning customer.
If you require an emergency dentist in Victoria, contact us on 020 7233 7660. Our dentists will see all emergency patients on the same day whenever possible, and you will be offered the next available appointment as soon as you call.