It’s no secret that good oral health is important, but did you know that with poor oral hygiene can come with other health problems, like heart disease? According to a new American Heart Association (AHA) study, maintaining good oral hygiene proved to be more effective than antibiotics in preventing heart infection caused by certain bacteria found in teeth in certain heart patients.
Infective endocarditis (IE), also known as bacterial endocarditis, is a heart infection caused directly by bacteria found in the mouth that finds its way into the bloodstream and burrows into the heart lining, valves, or blood vessels. Viridans group streptococcal infective endocarditis (VGS IE) come from bacteria collected in teeth plaque that cause gum swelling and inflammation.
VGS IE is more likely to develop from our everyday dental habits that cause poor oral health and gingival diseases. That is why it is so important to take care of our teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and having regular access to dental care are considered essential steps in preventing diseases that stem from the mouth and find their way into the heart.
Some common ways you can prevent oral diseases like IE and VGS IE are to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time. Flossing can also help as it removes built-up plaque in between your teeth. Always follow up with your dental appointments. This ensures you are taking the routine maintenance required for a healthy mouth, but your dentist can also help you identify problem areas or spot any dental issue before they start.
Keep your teeth healthy – it just might prevent heart disease.