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Flossing and Heart Disease

Updated on October 19, 2011

Why the link between flossing and heart disease ?

We British have long had a reputation for poor quality teeth care but recent research has shown a link between flossing and heart disease, so perhaps it is time that we start to look at how we look after our oral health care more.

As well as heart disease, poor oral health care has also been linked to Alzheimers, diabetes and lung disease, but how are these seemingly unconnected factors related?

The answer appears to be bacteria or more specifically the dental plaque which builds up around our teeth if we don’t care sufficient care of them. Many of these bacteria can lead to gum disease which affects more than half the population. This can lead not only to bad breath but also to losing our teeth and then perhaps needing to have dental implants fitted instead.

Once our gums become infected, they can enter the bloodstream and potentially cause our blood to clot. It is this factor which is thought to create the highest risk of a heart attack related to dental problems.

Ignoring early Signs of Gum Disease

Unfortunately, many people do not take this seriously and often ignore relatively ‘minor’ signs of gum disease such as bleeding of the gums, providing it is not heavy bleeding. This early sign however, is likely to lead to more severe problems and dental surgery is likely to be needed.

For these reasons, it is wise to keep up regular dental check ups in order to establish a good health care routine. This should obviously include regular brushing, especially behind the back teeth which is an area often missed.

Establish a Good Oral Care Regime

However, although brushing is important, it can’t reach the plaque build up between the teeth which is why flossing is useful here. If you find traditional flossing methods difficult, there are now special flossing devices or floss sticks available from dentists that you can use.

If this regular care is taken of your teeth, the link between flossing and heart disease should lead you to a longer and healthier life.


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    • dentalimplants101 profile image

      dentalimplants101 6 years ago from UK

      I suspect that there may be some truth in what you say but the fact that bacteria from the gums gets into the bloodstream would indicate that this is largely factual, but it's a very valid point you make.

    • .josh. profile image

      .josh. 6 years ago

      A very interesting and well-written hub, dental. I would be interested to truly know how many of these illnesses are directly caused by poor dental care, and how many are simply correlational. A person that doesn't take care of their teeth is less likely to care of themselves in other respects, and I suspect that is why so many illnesses are more prevalent in those who don't take care of their teeth.