01-25-2011, 09:08 PM
Flossing and Heart Health
Here's a good article on the relation of good oral hygiene and heart health.
Link – ScienceDaily Gum/Heart Article
Link – Gum Study Abstract
What if I told you there was a simple “anti-aging” activity that you could do in just a couple minutes a day that would a) make your arteries and your heart healthier and b) also make you more attractive? It sounds like a cheesy infomercial for a supercharged exotic fruit juice or an ancient facial serum from the far ends of the Earth, doesn’t it? Not quite.
I’ve discussed a substance called C-reative protein (CRP) before. It’s a protein that indicates a type of inflammation that may contribute to heart disease, stroke and, possibly, even some cancers.
There are drugs and even supplements that can lower elevated CRP levels. But did you know that there’s something in your bathroom medicine cabinet that may be cheaper, more effective and could help give you a brighter smile and fresher breath?
Flossing Your Arteries Clean
A group of scientists from England and Italy recently reported that irritated gums may be a significant source of chronic inflammation – as measured by elevated CRP levels.
The discovery was made by examining 35 middle-aged individuals who appeared to be healthy, with the exception of having mild to moderate gum disease. Several tests were administered to determine the level of oral bacteria, systemic inflammation (CRP) and the thickness of the blood vessels.
Prior to treatment there was a pattern of abnormally high inflammation established in the entire group. All the patients underwent periodontal treatment for a period of one year. During and after the treatment, blood tests and Echo-Doppler cardiography (an ultrasound procedure used to measure the thickness of the carotid artery) were employed. Here’s what the results showed:
Thickening of the arteries is a clear sign of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is characterized by thickened, hardened arteries and is one of the leading contributors to heart attacks and strokes. Reversing that trend is truly astonishing.
- There was a reduction in the amount of harmful oral bacteria.
- A significant decrease in CRP levels was also found.
- The thickness of the arteries diminished after treatment.
How often do you floss? Do you brush at least twice-a-day? When’s the last time you visited your friendly, neighborhood dentist? Now remind me, how many hearts do you have? Two minutes a day and a few dollars a month may just be one of your best bets for improving your health and increasing your lifespan.