Flossing and general oral hygiene care appear on various recommendation lists when looking for unexpected ways to improve heart health. This is due to the various research studies conducted to prove (and disprove) the link between oral health and heart health.
Some research claims that people with good dental habits have corresponding heart health and those with issues like gum disease have a higher likelihood of heart disease.1 Similar studies found that routine dental care could reduce your risk of heart failure and that poor oral health in the elderly impacts their lifespan.23
More recent studies pointed to the contrary, concluding that there is no direct link between the two, though there may be associations.4 Any apparent connection likely has to do with other factors, like how someone who pays special attention to their oral health is more likely to do the same for their heart health and vice versa.5
Is good dental hygiene beneficial for your heart health?
Even if the connection is debatable, proper oral hygiene is good for an individual's overall health, which in turn, does benefit your heart.6 The overall benefits of regular dental care include managing the bacteria and inflammation in your mouth and reducing your risk of periodontal diseases.7
The relationship between oral and heart health aside, other health benefits make regular brushing, flossing and checkups worth it.
If you are looking for other ways to prevent heart disease, another tip on most lists is to get regular screenings.8 Know when to make significant lifestyle changes by closely monitoring your total cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose. Screen for diabetes and measure your cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation with imaware's at-home Baseline Heart Health Test.
- Journal of Periodontal Research. Use of floss/interdental brushes is associated with lower risk for new cardiovascular events among patients with coronary heart disease. Accessed January 23, 2023.
- European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Improved oral hygiene care is associated with decreased risk of occurrence for atrial fibrillation and heart failure: A nationwide population-based cohort study. Accessed January 23, 2023.
- Scientific Reports. Oral health and all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory mortality in older people in the UK and USA. Accessed January 23, 2023.
- Mayo Clinic News Network. Mayo Clinic Minute: Brush your way to heart health. Accessed January 20, 2023.
- American Heart Association. Bad toothbrushing habits tied to higher heart risk. Accessed January 20, 2023.
- Cleveland Clinic. Is there a link between gum disease and heart problems? Accessed January 20, 2023.
- Mayo Clinic. Oral health: A window to your overall health. Accessed January 20, 2023.
- Mayo Clinic. Strategies to prevent heart disease. Accessed January 23, 2023.