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Can visiting a dentist regularly lower my risk of heart disease?

Research in women suggests that visiting a dentist routinely (twice a year) can help reduce the risk for heart problems. Research shows that older women who visit the dentist routinely are one-third less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who did not visit their dentist.
While there is no conclusive research that a healthy mouth mean a healthy heart, studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or stroke. However, saying that two conditions are associated is not the same as saying that one causes the other. Talk to your dentist about your overall health, especially if you have had any recent illnesses or have any chronic conditions. At home, practice good oral hygiene by always brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed, flossing once a day between the teeth and by remembering to eat a balanced diet and to limit between-meal snacks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.