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Heart Disease and Oral Health

Take care of your gums...help your heart?

The American Heart Association published a Statement in April 2012 supporting an association between gum disease and heart disease. The article noted that current scientific data do not indicate if regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease will decrease the incidence, rate or severity of the narrowing of the arteries (called atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. However, many studies show an as-yet-unexplained association between gum disease and several serious health conditions, including heart disease, even after adjusting for common risk factors.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The ADA and MouthHealthy believe that the most important thing you can do to avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health (including prevention of tooth decay or cavities) is:

  • Brush teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings.