How Regularly Visiting the Dentist can Keep Your Heart Healthy

You likely have heard a hundred times before how important it is to get into your dentist’s office twice a year. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is one of the major keys in keeping your smile and healthy. But did you know that visiting your dentist may also keep you healthy in other ways? Two recent studied that were released by The American Heart Association showed that those who had their teeth cleaned at least once a year had fewer heart attacks or strokes. The patients who regularly visited the dentist saw a 24-percent decrease in cardiac arrest and a 13-percent decrease in stroke occurrences, reported Health Watch MD.

“While this study was just released, Dr. Sara Mobasseri says that the link between dental hygiene and heart health is not a new concept.”

“There has always been the observation that with poor dental hygiene, [people] are more at risk for heart disease,” she says. “It’s always been observational data, but we don’t have true, randomized research to tell us about the risk of poor hygiene and heart disease.”

If you have avoided visiting your dentist in the past out of dental anxiety would you have been more likely to schedule an appointment if you had known the statistics about the decrease in heart attack and stroke? While these observational studies are not completely concrete and they don’t offer all of the answers it is better to be safe than sorry and schedule a cleaning with your dentist today. You will definitely leave with a healthier smile and you may just leave with a healthier heart.

Dr. Mobasseri is a preventative cardiologist and when asked if she would be telling her patients to visit the dentist and brush and floss more often she wasn’t sure just yet.

“From a heart disease standpoint, I still think we need more data and research coming forward,” she says. “Right now it is very anecdotal and by experience that we are seeing these relationships.”

But brushing, flossing and visiting your CT dentist on a regular basis certainly isn’t going to hurt anything. You will have a healthier mouth that you will be proud to show off to those around you every time you smile. And perhaps you will have a healthier heart to show off next time you visit your cardiologist. So schedule an appointment with your dentist today and get on your way to a healthier you.

Regular Floss vs. Water Floss

Periodontal disease is a serious problem for many people, especially those who do not floss their teeth at least once a day. Since periodontal disease starts between the teeth, flossing is very important to your gum and tooth health, but the difficulty of flossing causes many people to skip this process entirely. For this reason, there need to be other methods of flossing that can be recommended to patients who have difficulty with flossing.

According to a study reported in Perio Reports, a study was completed at the University of Amsterdam that compared interdental devices among 104 non-dental students:

“To participate in the study, students had to have bleeding scores of at least 50% percent, with at least 5 teeth per quadrant and no advanced periodontal disease. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Johnson and Johnson waxed dental floss, Water Pik WaterFlosser with the standard jet tip and the Water Pik WaterFlosser with a new irrigator tip with three tufts of bristles around the opening.”

To see how effective the different devices were, bleeding was evaluated at baseline after 2 weeks and then 4 weeks. Not surprisingly all groups showed improvement:

  • Flossing – Reduction of 13%
  • Water Pik – Reduction of 20%
  • Water Pik (with special tip) – Reduction of 26%

However, after 4 weeks, the flossing group returned to its original levels, while the Water Piks maintained reductions in the 15% range. It is important to note that plaque scores did not show any difference at any point in time during the study.

This information is important to consider the next time you are visiting your Wallingford dentist. Since everyone’s oral health is a little different, speak with your dentist about what type of flossing is right for you. You may want to switch over to a water flossing system, seeing as they are significantly more effective than regular dental floss.