A Answers (4)
Flossing your teeth, along with other good dental hygiene habits, can prevent the growth of bacteria and the gum inflammation that results. Research has found that gum inflammation can spread to your bloodstream and into your blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease. For the sake of your heart and your mouth, brush at least twice a day and floss daily. See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning.
American Dental Association answered
Flossing your teeth is one way to potentially prevent gum disease, which has recently been shown to be associated with heart disease.
The American Heart Association published a Statement in April 2012 supporting an association between gum disease and heart disease. The article noted that current scientific data do not indicate if regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease will decrease the incidence, rate or severity of the narrowing of the arteries (called atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. However, many studies show an as-yet-unexplained association between gum disease and several serious health conditions, including heart disease, even after adjusting for common risk factors.
Carol Jahn, Dentistry, answeredWe don't know if flossing can improve heart heath. What we do know is that flossing or any type of cleaning between your teeth (floss holder, interproximal brushes, Water Flosser) helps you have good oral health. Studies have shown that people with good oral health often have good general health. Conversely, people with poor oral health including gum disease, often have heart disease. Why this occurs is uncertain. Regardless, oral health is a part of general health, and a part of good general health includes having good oral health.
Chris Zaepfel, Dentistry, answered
People spend a tremendous amount of money in order to prevent Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). They take cholesterol medication, buy fitness equipment, go on elaborate diets, and get gym memberships. The entire time they are ignoring what is under their nose that they can purchase for about five dollars. That would be their toothbrush and floss. Most dentists give this to their patients for free at their recare visit.
Periodontal disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque along the surface of the gums and in the pocket that is around the teeth. Plaque is a sticky residual of bacteria acid, food particles that irritate gums, and eats away tooth structure. Plaque takes twenty-four hours to form in the mouth. That is why proper tooth brushing and flossing is mandatory at least once daily.
In the periodontium that is healthy it is normal to have gram-positive aerobic bacteria. When the periodontium becomes diseased there is a shift to gram-negative anaerobic bacteria. The two bacteria associated with period disease are actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitams and porphyromonas gingivitis. There are other bacteria in a diseased periodontal pocket but these two are the main culprits in periodontal disease.
Scientists in Germany, a Dr. Schaeffer and colleagues, at the University of Kiel, have linked a gene that is in common with periodontal disease and CHD. On May 26 of 2009, they presented that they found a gene, chromosome 9 whose variant is shared between gum and heart disease. There has also been found a C-reactive protein in the serum that has been a very indicative marker for heart disease, found in the infected periodontium.
The mechanism has been explained in theory only. The bacteria in diseased pockets go through the blood stream and land on sclerotic plaques in the arteries. This in turn causes an inflammatory reaction causing swelling and constricting blood vessels. This in turn presents a risk with blood clots going through the blood stream. Hence a heart attack or stroke may result.
The mouth seems to be a direct pipeline to the rest of the body through the bloodstream. This makes sense when you think of bacterial endocarditis that results sometimes as a result of dental work without premedication.
Remember, your health is your responsibility. You need to eat right, exercise, and floss and brush. Your doctors can only guide you.