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Warning: There's a scary link between poor oral health and heart disease

by , 30 September 2014

Your mouth and heart share a close connection

When your oral health isn't in top shape, your heart health suffers!

But it's only within the last couple of years that scientists discovered this interesting connection.

They found that if you have any problems with your oral health, like gum disease or holes in your teeth - and you don't take care of them promptly - you're putting yourself on the fast track to heart disease too!

Read on to find out what's behind your poor oral health and how you can protect your mouth and heart health by making a few simple lifestyle changes…

Snacking on junk food leaves your oral health in shambles

 
It’s not just foods that contain obvious sugar that rot your teeth. You might avoid them to protect your teeth, but why then do you still get holes and all sorts of other oral health problems.
 
It’s the hidden sugars in foods you’d never expect to contain any!
 
Things like your burger and fries meal contain more sugar than you’d care to imagine.
 
In fact, it’s not only the meat patty that contains a whack of sugar. It’s the tomato sauce and other dressings on your burger too. And don’t forget that sweet, soft, white roll!
 
So how much sugar is in your favourite burger?
 
Researchers say a standard burger contains at least 7g sugar.
 
If you consider what your daily allowance should be, it’s not allowing you much room for other sugar-containing foods you eat for the rest of the day.
 
If you’re eating 7g of your daily 14g in just one meal, putting a teaspoon of sugar in your tea or coffee is a no-no. Just one teaspoon of sugar is about 4g, so drinking only two cups with a teaspoon each puts you at 15g.
 
Then, consider what you had for breakfast, the fizzy drink you glug down with your burger meal, fruit and other foods you eat that contain sugar.
 
No wonder your teeth are suffering with all that daily sugar! Worst part is, you didn’t even realise it.
 
So now you know why your oral health is suffering, what’s the connection between your mouth and heart?
 
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Poor oral health causes inflammation

 
The link between inflammation, poor oral health and heart disease is evident in a study performed by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
 
Researchers found that eating too many sugar foods causes inflammation and is the leading cause of poor oral health and thus heart disease.
 
When you have gum disease or holes in your teeth, it causes the inflammation levels in your body to rise. And because of the bacteria in your mouth, inflammation isn’t a quick fix for your oral health problems like it should be.
 
Your inflammatory response is supposed to help heal your body, but in some instances, it causes more harm.
 
For example, when you cut your finger, inflammation sets in, but within a short time, it’s gone and the cut starts to heal.
 
In your mouth, the process takes a lot longer because good bacteria fight the bad bacteria and your immune system gets involved. The inflammatory response sticks around for longer and it starts to affect other parts of your body.
 
And one of these areas is your vessels. In particular, your arteries.
 
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The inflammatory response causes your heart health to take a knock

 
Inflammation has a huge effect on your artery walls. It affects your muscles’ ability to increase and decrease in diameter. It literally causes the artery walls to become rigid and obstructs blood flow.
 
This causes more pressure on your heart and eventually it gives in.
 
Can you believe this is all because of poor choices in diet?
 
Luckily, changing your diet is one of the easiest ways to improve your health!
 
Here’s how…
 

Use these three tips to change your health by changing your diet

 
Tip #1: Swap junk food for healthier options without compromising on flavour
 
You don’t have to compromise on taste when you choose healthy food over junk food! There are many ways to make healthy food taste even better than junk food without all the additives and unhealthy components.
 
Tip #2: Have healthy food available so you’re not tempted to buy junk food
 
Always pre-pack your lunch and snacks for work so you don’t have to order food when you’re hungry.
 
Make sure you always have enough food on hand so your hunger doesn’t force you to make poor food choices.
 
Tip #3: If you order take-out, order the healthiest item on the menu
 
You don’t have to completely avoid eating out or ordering food from take-out restaurants. Just be aware of what you’re eating on the odd occasion you do eat out.
 
Look up the nutritional values of the foods before you place your order. And remember, a salad isn’t always the healthiest item on the menu!
 
Bottom line: You may avoid eating sweets and chocolate to lower your sugar intake, but other foods have the same or more hidden sugars in them!
 
The only way to improve your health is to honest with yourself, educate yourself and eat a well-balanced meal every time. 

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