Oral Health: Brushing And Flossing Can Help Protect Your Heart

| September 17, 2015 | Comments (0)

Many people may not think so, but good oral health can in fact protect your heart.

Since the late 90’s we’ve seen growing evidence that periodontal disease (an advanced form of gum inflammation) may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Back in 1997, US researchers revealed that patients with advanced gum disease, who had also suffered heart attacks, all showed significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), compared to heart attack survivors who did not have gum disease.

Elevated CRP is a key marker for inflammation and is also a risk factor for heart disease. In fact, I’m convinced that in the battle against heart disease, instead of lowering our cholesterol levels into oblivion, the mainstream should rather focus on controlling and reducing raised CRP levels.

Brushing and flossing twice a day keeps the heart surgeon at bay

Another study, conducted at Columbia University in New York, showed that improving dental care slows the speed of plaque build-up in the arteries — also known as atherosclerosis, which increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and death.

Participants in this study with the worst oral health increased their risk of developing heart disease by a whopping 70 per cent, compared to those who brushed their teeth twice a day.

Commenting on these findings, researcher Panos N. Papapanou, professor at Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine, said: “Our results show a clear relationship between what is happening in the mouth and thickening of the carotid artery, even before the onset of full-fledged periodontal disease. This suggests that incipient [early] periodontal disease should not be ignored.”

Results like these (from both studies) are powerful testimonies to the fact that heart disease is a condition that can be prevented, most of the time, by leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes the simple act of brushing your teeth regularly to prevent periodontal disease.

In addition to diligent brushing and flossing, supplementing with an important amino acid could provide another very effective defence against periodontal disease, and, in turn, heart disease.

A study conducted at the University of Birmingham here in the UK, examined 20 subjects — 10 with healthy gums, and 10 with advanced gum disease. All of the participants with healthy gums were shown to have high levels of the antioxidant glutathione, while those with periodontal disease had substantially lower levels of glutathione.

While these results don’t prove a direct link between supplementing with glutathione and the prevention of periodontal and heart disease, it certainly won’t do any harm adding it to your daily regime.

Glutathione is an enormously effective antioxidant found in every cell of the body, most notably in immune system cells. It has not only been shown to protect against disease, but may also protect other antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E) from oxidizing, prolonging and enhancing their effectiveness… and both vitamin C and E have been shown to boost immunity and protect against cardiovascular disease.

Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy

Francois Lubbe
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth
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Sources:

Changes in Clinical and Microbiological Periodontal Profiles Relate to Progression of Carotid Intima-Media Thickness: The Oral Infections and Vascular Disease Epidemiology Study, published 28.04.13, jaha.ahajournals.org

Gut Bacteria and Fat Cells May Interact to Produce “Perfect Storm” of Inflammation That Promotes Diabetes and Other Chronic Disease, published online 05.06.14, articles.mercola.com

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Category: Heart Disease

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