Heart disease: The lesser-known warning signs found in your mouth according to expert
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Keeping your teeth healthy during lockdown is crucial but what’s also equally important is spotting any danger signs in the mouth warning of other health issues. Striving to maintain your normal daily routines during difficult times can be quite challenging. While that may be the case, you must still keep on looking after your teeth to retain good health, especially to reduce your risk of teeth problems. Dr Richard Marques, Richard London spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk to offer his top tips and signs to look out for in the mouth warning of potential heart disease.
According to studies, having an untreated tooth infection can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 2.7 times, said Dr Marques.
He continued: “This is due to the infection entering the bloodstream and travelling to the heart.
“Tooth infections (such as dental abscesses) can travel to the brain (especially upper jaw-maxillary teeth) due to the proximity of the tooth roots to this area.
“This is why timely treatment of tooth infections is so important.”
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When asked if an infected tooth can cause rapid heartbeat, Dr Marques answered: “Tooth infections can also cause heart palpitations as the body is fighting to control the infection (the heart has to work harder for circulation during these times).
“Heart problems themselves can cause pain in different areas.
“Although the most common areas are arm and chest aches it has been reported there can also be headaches and toothaches caused by heart problems.”
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Over the years, many studies have found people with gum disease are more likely to also have poor heart health, including heart attacks.
When it comes to gum disease and the perceived health risks, Dr Marques warned: “If left untreated, gum disease (or periodontitis) can increase the risk of all sorts of health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even dementia.
“This is once again due to harmful mouth bacteria or the infection in the gum entering the bloodstream and affecting the body.”
For all round oral health, Dr Marques gave his top tips which include:
Maintain a low sugar intake (as harmful mouth bacteria feed on sugar)
Brushing twice a day (ideally with electric toothbrush but good manual brushing for two to three minutes will also suffice to remove plaque and bacteria).
Visiting a dentist and hygienist at least every six months (sometimes it may be necessary to attend every three or four months if you’re at high risk of decay or gum disease).
“Book in to see a dentist as soon as possible if you are having any serious problems,” said Dr Marques.
“Using a mouthwash such as Corsodyl (containing chlorhexidine) can help.
“At home, rinsing warm salt water will help flush out bacteria until you can see your dentist or gum specialist.”
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