Did you know that improving your oral health can help your heart health? A recent study from Inside Dentistry suggests as many as 50% of heart attacks may be triggered by an oral infection.
Equally concerning, poor oral health is widespread in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by age 34, approximately 50% of people have experienced periodontal disease. That’s why one of the most important things you can do for your heart health is to pay attention to your oral health.
It’s true, a healthy body starts with a healthy mouth, and it makes sense as your mouth is the gateway to your body. Harmful bacteria naturally occupy our mouths and can lead to plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. And if you have a small cut in your gums or on your tongue – bingo! That plaque can affect your systemic health. Why take the chance? Here are some tips to give your heart the gift of optimal oral health, less stress, exercise, and a delish (and easy!) heart-healthy recipe.
“50% of heart attacks and strokes are triggered by oral bacteria that live in your mouth.”
-Dr. Eric Goulder, board-certified cardiologist, Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio
It’s effortless to optimize your oral health by adding an all-natural oral-care probiotic to your daily dental regime. In addition to brushing and flossing, simply dissolve one ProBioraPlus® or ProBioraXtra® probiotic in your mouth before bed, and at least 30 minutes after you’ve rinsed with mouthwash. ProBiora is the only oral-care probiotic with ProBiora3®, a patented strain of good bacteria naturally found in your mouth. As it dissolves, ProBiora repopulates the good bacteria which colonizes on tooth and gum surfaces and crowds out harmful bacteria. This process naturally freshens your breath, as well as gently whitens teeth.
According to Dr. Eric Goulder, board-certified cardiologist and partner with the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio, the underlying cause of heart disease is inflammation. “There is definitely a relationship between coronary disease and the underlying inflammatory process,” he says. “Because the link between inflammation and periodontal disease has been established, it is critically important to optimize oral health.”
We know. Stress is inevitable in today’s busy lives. But it’s not good for your heart, blood pressure, or mental health. Begin with small steps. For example, the next time you feel overwhelmed, exasperated, or angry, take a stroll. Even a five-minute saunter can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. Or take a few minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness. Many free apps and other online resources can assist you.
Our heart is a muscle, which is why exercise is important to help maintain our heart health. Additionally, as we age, we begin to lose muscle mass, and exercise helps to strengthen and slow down the progression of the inevitable – muscle loss. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. Additionally, the AHA recommends moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
There are lots of free resources for heart-healthy recipes including options for breakfast, entrees, appetizers, and even desserts. Here is an easy, delicious recipe from the Mayo Clinic for artichoke dip – yum!
Artichoke Dip – Serve with raw vegetables or whole-grain crackers