Question

Healthy Oral Hygiene

What is the link between flossing and heart disease?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentist, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Research suggests a link between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, though no one can say for sure whether gum disease actually causes heart attacks. It's possible that bacteria from the mouth can travel to arteries in the heart, triggering inflammation that increases heart attack risk. Or that gum disease causes body-wide inflammation, which similarly may increase the risk of heart attack. Studies have shown that patients had improved blood flow after a periodontal cleaning, which may indicate that healthier teeth and gums can lead to better overall health.

    At this time, it's not clear whether flossing will help prevent heart disease. But it will help you maintain good oral health.
    Helpful? 5 people found this helpful.
  • 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.

    Flossing is one important way you can help maintain good health and potentially avoid gum disease.

    Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
  • AJonathan B. Levine, DMD, Dentist, answered
    There is a direct link between flossing and the prevention of heart disease. Countless studies have proven that poor dental cleaning and a lack of flossing can lead to heart disease. Researchers recently found that diseased gums released higher levels of bacterial pro-inflammatory components into the bloodstream. These components can find their way to other organs, like the heart, and increase their risk of failure.
    Helpful? 4 people found this helpful.
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