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  • Happy Gums Dental Hygiene

A Healthy Smile Is Good for Your Heart

How does oral health affect heart health?

When your dental hygienist reminds you to brush, floss, and rinse daily, it’s not just to protect the health of your teeth. Poor oral hygiene allows harmful bacteria to grow in your mouth. These bacteria cause bad breath, sore, inflamed gums (gingivitis), and tooth and bone loss (periodontitis). They also travel through the bloodstream to other parts of your body. If these bacteria reach your heart, they can cause a serious infection called endocarditis. Bacteria in the bloodstream can also contribute to clogged arteries, which increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Signs of poor oral health

  • Red, swollen or tender gums

  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing

  • Gums that are separating or receding from the teeth

  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

  • Infection, such as pus, in the gums

  • Tooth decay

  • Loose teeth

Whose heart health is at risk?

Individuals with advanced, chronic gingivitis or periodontitis

Individuals with diagnosed heart disease or a previous stroke

Individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or who are obese


What can you do?

1. Make healthy lifestyle choices

2. Take steps to prevent gingivitis and periodontitis



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