Not everyone is good about getting their checkups done and teeth cleaned every six months, even though most know that this is what just about any dentist would recommend.  But getting the plaque and tartar removed from teeth regularly may be more important than you think.

Some studies have shown a link between good oral hygiene and a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.  The common thread appears to be inflammation.  Inflammation is a factor in both gum disease and heart disease.  Also, chronic inflammation has been repeatedly linked to hardening of the arteries, which also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.  According to one large study, those who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and a 13% reduced risk of stroke.  Those who had cleanings done every six months had even lower risks.

While the cause of the connection is still not entirely clear, it appears that this is yet one more way that oral health is connected to overall health and should not be taken lightly.  Having your teeth regularly cleaned gets rid of not just plaque and tartar, but also some of the harmful bacteria that lives in the mouth and can travel to other parts of the body and cause inflammation and infections.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Dr. Dawn Gayken, DDS today!

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