A Great Reason to Floss!
Want to do something good for your heart? It could begin with a trip to the dentist. Recent research shows that many men and women still do not connect poor oral health, specifically severe gum disease, with the development of cardiovascular disease.
While the majority of Americans understand that exercise (84%) or diet (82%) can impact their heart health, far fewer people (53%) believe that proper oral care could also have an effect on their heart health.
• More women than men (59% vs. 48%, respectively) understand that when they take care of their teeth, they are taking care of their hearts; yet women are much less likely than men (17% vs. 21%, respectively) to put most of their energy into good oral care routines over other lifestyle modifications, like exercise and diet.
• Less than two in five (35%) Americans ages 18-24 are sure of the link between their dental habits and a healthy heart, compared to 56 percent of those who are 25 and over.
The statistics were quite telling of the need for better education to raise awareness of the connection the health of our mouth has on the health of our bodies. Hopefully a bridge between doctors and dentists can be strengthened where the message is reinforced for the benefit of our patients.
“Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, it is increasingly important that patients take the initiative to establish open lines of communication with their doctors and dentists,” said Elizabeth Klodas, M.D., F.A.C.C., President, Preventive Cardiology Consultants. “Patients need to inform their physicians and dentists of any major oral health issues or heart conditions they may have to ensure optimal care. Patients should ask about measures available that may help improve their overall health”.
Flossing daily is definitely a good start!