Can a toothbrush help clean out your heart? Surprisingly, yes. Brushing and flossing your teeth has been shown to be a simple preventative step that can help you avoid heart disease, stroke, diabetes complications and even cancer.
Periodontal disease raises the level of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which travels through the bloodstream to other organs in the body, and can lead to a plaque buildup in arteries surrounding the heart…
Surprisingly, 80 percent of adults have gum disease and don’t know it, according to Dr. Chris Kammer of the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.
"Most people don’t think of their dentist when it comes to health problems that are not found in one’s mouth," says Dr. Kammer. "But a dentist can actually be the first line of defense in reducing the risk for many deadly diseases like Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Disease, and Pancreatic Cancer."
New studies published in the Journal of Periodontology are linking periodontal disease to diabetes and heart disease. And the American Association for Cancer Research has even found that diseased gums raise the risk of pancreatic cancer by 63 percent. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S.
Bleeding gums is one of many symptoms that may indicate that you have periodontal disease. The process begins when the plaque that settles around your gum lines fails to be removed by daily brushing and flossing. When plaque stays on your teeth, it turns into tartar, and only your dentist can remove tartar. The plaque and the tartar are irritants that house the bacteria that cause the gums to become infected.
Brushing and flossing are effective means of prevention. Here are some other tips:
- Twice a Day: Brush your teeth. Also remember to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
- Once a Day: Floss your teeth. Use an irrigator like a Waterpick or Hydrofloss for even deeper cleaning of the gum pockets.
- Two to four times a year: Visit your dentist for a cleaning (50 percent of patients must go to the dentist more than twice a year to maintain gum wellness). More frequent visits are required by those who have the disease, until it is under control.
- Be Proactive! Visit your dentist if you have any of these warning signs of periodontal disease: Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing; red, swollen, or tender gums; gums that have pulled away from teeth; bad breath
Dr. Chris Kammer has been an expert for USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Fox
News and CNN. He is available to provide more information at 608-827-6453,
or visit the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry online.