Study Finds Poor Oral Hygiene and Junk Food Can Lead to Heart Disease

Posted on: February 18, 2014 | Blog

You’ve almost certainly been warned, ever since you were a child, of the dangers of sugar. Your parents always tried to break you of your sweet-tooth habits and instill more positive actions, like brushing and flossing twice daily. A new study has emphasized why these things are so important: They have a significant effect on your chances of developing heart disease.

cotton candy and junk food

Photo courtesy of H. C.

The combination of a high-sugar diet and poor oral hygiene leads to periodontal disease–where the bone that supports the teeth is destroyed–as well as gum disease. Both of these conditions cause chronic inflammation not just in the mouth, but throughout your entire body. Researchers believe that this inflammation that starts in your mouth can lead to atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries), a condition where inflammation is known to be a factor.

With the average American consuming a whopping 100 pounds of sugar per year, or nearly 30 teaspoons per day, it’s no wonder our teeth (and hearts!) are in such bad shape. But where is all this sugar coming from? Nearly half of it comes from soda and fruit drinks, as well as sugary desserts and, perhaps more surprisingly, bread. Add to that the fact that only a little over half of Americans say they brush their teeth twice per day as the American Dental Association recommends and you have a recipe for poor health.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that things we used to think affected only our oral health, such as sugar consumption and basic hygiene, have significant effects on the rest of our body as well, even something as critical as your heart health.

Now, more than ever, it’s clear that a cared for mouth is vital to your overall well-being. Schedule an appointment with BDG today and give your body the attention it needs.

Feature image courtesy of 90051

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