When heart attack victims look after their oral health and prevent gum disease, it helps their cardiovascular systems recover, new research has shown.
The study found that bacteria which cause gum disease can also impair the healing and repair of arteries after a heart attack. The researchers believe that this impaired healing may be due to an enzyme produced by the bacteria that stops the body’s immune cells from repairing the arteries.
By keeping their mouths free of gum disease, people who suffered a heart attack may be able to avoid further cardiovascular problems. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, but many of these deaths could have be prevented with relatively simple lifestyle changes.
The Oral Health Foundation is calling on people to understand the links between oral health and cardiovascular disease in order to reduce their chances of potentially fatal illness.
Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Foundation, said: “There has been evidence for some time that gum disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease but to now understand that preventing gum disease can also prevent further problems for victims of a heart attack opens up many interesting avenues for ongoing treatment.
Preventing gum disease is relatively simple, you need to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and clean in between your teeth with an interdental brush or floss once a day.
Combined with regular visits to a dentist, you can prevent gum disease from progressing and affecting you in further ways.