When it comes to keeping your overall health in good working order, flossing is just as important as getting exercise and eating right. But, does it actually have any direct correlation with your cardiovascular health? Some might say yes; however, as NPR pointed out in an article that examined this very topic, there may be more than meets the eye if you’re trying to determine how your flossing habits affect your heart.
The Connection Between Flossing and Good Health
Flossing is just one of the many things healthy people do when they’re getting their bodies ready to face the day (or night). While it’s true that flossing does help remove the plaque buildup that can eventually lead to gum disease and other health problems, its association with heart disease prevention is just that—an association.
In reality, the correlation between increased heart disease and a lack of flossing is likely contributed to other factors, including the fact that people who don’t take care of their teeth may also be neglecting other aspects of their health, as well. Conversely, people who brush and floss regularly and see their dentists at least twice a year for regular cleanings are also more likely to pay attention to other health factors that can keep their hearts, minds, and bodies happy and healthy, such as seeing their doctors regularly, working out, and avoiding vices.
The Myth Behind Poor Oral Health and Heart Disease Connections
Time and time again, articles have reported that people who have poor oral health also have higher risks of cardiovascular issues such as heart attack or stroke. Theories related to this include:
- Bacteria traveling from diseased gums into the bloodstream getting stuck in the heart;
- The body’s immune system response to inflammation setting off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the heart and brain;
- Poor access to oral health also contributing to limited access to heart health, as well.
In the end, it appears that, while there may be a connection (coincidental or not) to people who have gum disease also being at a higher risk for developing heart issues, flossing is not the answer to preventing cardiovascular problems. Rather, avoiding negative behaviors like smoking and seeing your doctor regularly are far more prescribed methods to positive heart and oral health.
If you’re looking for the dentist Montreal residents trust with their smiles, you’ve come to the right place. Schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Retter and his team at Retter Dental Care today!