If you haven’t thought about visiting a cosmetic dentist to improve your oral health and the appearance of your smile, a new study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine may give you that extra motivation you need.
The research paper, co-authored by a doctor from the University of Cambridge, finds a link between poor oral hygiene, junk food consumption, periodontal disease and heart disease.
The study reveals how an excessive intake of sugar can lead to damaged teeth and gums and even worse, chronic infection. In turn, this can trigger an inflammatory response using a process called atherosclerosis where the arteries are hardened.
One of the paper’s authors, Dr Ahmed Rashid, has stated junk foods high in salt, fat and particularly sugar can influence this link between oral and cardiovascular health. He recommends the UK population be encouraged to reduce their intake of junk foods and fizzy drinks to help improve oral hygiene.
“Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life,” Dr Rashid said in a media release.
This latest study reinforces the results of an earlier investigation carried out by researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center, which also found a link between gum disease and cardiovascular health conditions.
In the Columbia study, researchers examined the mouths of 657 people for bacteria and the thickness of their carotid arteries, which help to identify the presence of atherosclerosis. They found people with higher levels of the bacteria associated with periodontal disease also displayed increased artery thickness.
The research presents a compelling case for looking after your teeth and gums, which should involve thorough and regular cleaning as well as visits to the dentist.
If you feel your teeth need dental treatment, talk to a dentist to determine which procedure would be most suitable for you.