Brushing Up on Heart Health

Published 02/20 2013 05:07PM

Updated 02/20 2013 08:46PM

The sounds in the dentist's office alone are enough to make almost anyone tense up. However, doctors say opening up to thoroughly clean your teeth does much more than just polish those pearly whites.

"It only makes sense because this is an opening into our body, and it will be affected. Not only by the food we eat and the nutritional value, but also the bacteria build up", says Dr. Christie Leedy, of Abilene Dental.

The connection between the health of your mouth and your heart is nothing new, but the serious affects are recently surfacing.

"There have been several times when the cardiologist will send a patient here to have their oral health checked, because in checking their heart they noticed some broken teeth or their gums were swollen. So it's obviously on the radar with physicians as well", Dr. Leedy tells us.

Dr. Leedy explains that the bacteria and plaque build-up between the teeth can literally break away into your blood stream.

Something to sink your teeth into--nearly 50% of the population has periodontal disease, which can lead to other concerns.

"That's a lot of the population at risk for this bacteria, with links to diabetes, and low birth weight of all things", explains Dr. Leedy.

However, as with most health conditions, there are preventative measures available.

"Brush! And floss, and get regular cleanings", says Dr. Leedy.

By brushing up on your oral health, you'll not only keep your chompers in tip-top shape, you can also avoid a lot of literal heartache.

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