The human heart truly appreciates it when we eat healthy foods, don’t smoke, and exercise regularly. But there’s something else that can improve your heart’s longevity and you may not know about it: keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease have been found in the heart region of subjects who suffer artery inflammation, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Studies suggest that oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through diseased, bleeding gums and abscesses, in extreme situations, can reach from the gums into veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart.
Here are some things we recommend you adopt to make your heart love you for the rest of your life:
Follow good oral hygiene and have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
Avoid eating foods that contain saturated fat (fatty meats, processed meats, pastries, butter).
Craving a crunchy snack? Grab a handful of tree nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the “good” kind of fat) as well as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nourishes your heart with a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can reduce cholesterol and help prevent atherosclerosis.
Think “fish” the next time you shop for groceries — especially sardines, salmon, fresh tuna, and mackerel. These fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and may help prevent blood clots from forming.
Opt for whole grains over processed white breads and cereals.
Put that remote control (or computer mouse) down right now and get moving! Walk, swim, ride a bike, plant flowers; your heart likes to pump so give it a reason to!
Refresh your brain and improve your heart health with at least eight hours of sleep every night.
De-stress your life as much as possible. Relax, stay optimistic, and don’t sweat the petty stuff!
Watch your weight and get regular health examinations, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
Questions about your oral health and how it relates to your heart? Feel free to ask us at your next appointment!