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Mouth and heart health – is there a link?

Did you know that poor oral hygiene is associated with increased risks of mortality from cardiovascular disease? The health of your mouth is integral to the overall health of your body, with things like periodontal disease, tooth loss, dry mouth and poor oral hygiene related to poorer overall health.

The link between dental health and heart health is due to multiple factors. Poor oral health results in increased levels of inflammation and is often a consequence of a poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and respiratory illnesses.

Damage to your teeth can result in the loss of the dental biofilm once a tooth becomes infected. This increases the amount of inflammation and bacteria present in the mouth which can influence your whole body via the circulation of inflammatory markers and pathogens. Poor dental health also has been shown to have negative impacts on the health of blood vessels, further exacerbating cardiovascular health. Another factor is that worsening dental health can then influence diet quality. Studies have found that those experiencing tooth losses and decay are more likely to have a compromised diet due to food avoidance and pain.

Low vitamin D levels may also be an influencing factor. Low vitamin D may increase the rates of tooth losses resulting in increased bacteria present in the mouth which can enter circulation and influence your respiratory health. Check out our recent blog post discussing all things vitamin D including deficiency symptoms, food sources and its role in the body.

Improving your oral hygiene will not only benefit the health of your teeth and mouth but also your oral and gut microbiomes, cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory health. For example brushing your teeth once or more each day has been found result in those people having a 9% lower risk of cardiovascular events occurring.

We’ve collated some tips for improving your oral hygiene so you can know you’re doing your best to support your overall health:

  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times daily after eating. Changing your toothbrush every 1-2 months is also ideal to help prevent the spread of bacteria and to maintain your oral hygiene. Check out the NNT store for our range of tooth brushes and toothpastes which are also vegan and eco friendly.
  • Floss daily – check out NNT’s natural, vegan floss range
  • Have regular dental check ups – whilst at the dentist check in regarding your brushing and flossing techniques to see if there’s any areas you can improve on
  • Reduce sugary drinks and foods
  • Eat a whole food, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly to maintain overall health
  • Minimise alcohol consumption and smoking rates

Drop in to Northcote Natural Therapies and check out our range of dental products such as sustainable toothbrushes and floss, and toothpaste, and consider having a naturopathy consult with Monique or Candace to discuss how we can support your oral and cardiovascular health via diet, nutrition and herbal medicine.

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