Heart disease is currently the number one leading cause of death in the United States, and yet many don’t realize that there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. In the spirit of closing out American Heart Month, we’ve decided to dig deeper into this topic.
The heart of the matter: oral health maintenance
In November 2016, the British Medical Journal published a Bale Doneen study that directly links five bacteria found in the mouth with inflammation that causes plaque buildup in arteries, and ultimately, heart disease. The study concludes that while these five bacteria are present in all humans, the ones with the most risk for inflammation and heart disease are those that practice poor oral hygiene.
Protect your teeth, protect your heart
With all of this in mind, you might be wondering, “How do I practice good oral health so that I lower my risk for heart disease?” Most dentists will tell you the same thing: brush and floss twice a day (if not more), be cognizant of what you are eating and drinking, and be sure to choose the best toothpaste available.
As anyone who has seen the inside of a major retailer can confirm, the toothpaste aisle and its myriad of choices can create quite the headache if you don’t know exactly what to look for. In the interest of keeping things simple, we’ve outlined three top factors to consider when choosing a toothpaste that’s right for you.
1.) Go fluoride-free. Most of us spent our younger years being taught that fluoride was the best thing that would protect our teeth from decay. Nowadays, experts are changing their tune: “Too much fluoride has always been known to cause a dental condition known as fluorosis, which is a mottling of the enamel in developing teeth,” says Dr. Marc Lowenberg, D.D.S. What’s worse, there is growing evidence that an excess of fluoride will have a detrimental impact of neurological tissue. Do yourself a favor, and stay fluoride-free.
2.) Natural is better. It’s no secret that all-natural toothpastes are more likely to contain safe, effective ingredients over their synthetic counterparts. Studies in recent years have shown some commercial brands of non-natural toothpaste to contain toxic chemicals that cause harm to overall health. Why risk your physical wellbeing for the sake of oral health? Stick to all-natural toothpastes instead, which are in many cases more effective than non-natural brands.
3.) Don’t forget taste! This one may surprise you, but pleasant-tasting toothpaste plays a bigger role in your dental health than you realize. Think about it: the more delicious your toothpaste tastes, the more inclined you are to look forward to brushing. When you actually want to brush, you’re also more likely to brush for the full two minutes, every time. So don’t skimp on taste!
The bottom line
The cold, hard fact is this: the way you treat your teeth and gums will directly affect the health of your heart. In an effort to protect your most vital organ, it’s important to take proactive steps in maintaining a top-notch oral health routine. This means brushing, flossing, and being aware of what chemicals you’re putting into your body. Here at Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, we have years of experience in toothpaste manufacturing—and we can say without a doubt that the best toothpastes out there are three things: fluoride-free, all-natural, and great-tasting. The entire Sheffield team is proud to support American Heart Month awareness, and we hope that you’ll help us in spreading the word about the link between oral health and heart health!