Can oral hygiene increase inflammation?
There are many medical articles, including clinical studies, that show correlations between the mouth and body – poor oral hygiene can cause many health issues within your body. Poor oral hygiene causes overgrowth of bad bacteria which can lead to gum disease and gum disease creates inflammation, which in turn can lead to heart disease.
Granted, if you have poor oral hygiene you won’t necessarily have heart disease, but a healthy mouth can lower chances of getting other factors that lead to heart disease.
has been found to affect up to 75 percent of all adults and is primarily caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, especially the gums. When there is a significant amount of bacteria, the gums react and red, swell and bleed. Gum disease is known as gingivitis and if left untreated can provide serious tissue and/or bone damage.
The American Heart Association has conducted studies showing the relationship between gum disease and heart disease. There is a direct causal relationship with a strong association, meaning there’s an increased risk of heart attack.
Additional research is being conducted, however, the biggest factor seems to be inflammation because this is the way bacteria enters the bloodstream. Many people test their blood for inflammation :
The Cardiac C-Reactive Protein Test (hs) is a tool for assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
CRP is a protein that is found in the blood when certain inflammatory processes are happening. It is now known that arteriosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries are a process of inflammation that correlates with C-reactive protein, and it is believed to be a good way to predict heart disease. The test can help estimate your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and your risk of having a sudden heart attack. This blood test was redesigned from the traditional C-Reactive Protein test to be sensitive enough to detect chronic low-level inflammation. Test results are independent of cholesterol, family history, and other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The test can be done along with traditional tests, such as cholesterol, to determine your risk. Recent illness or tissue injury, and chronic inflammation from arthritis can increase CRP
levels and falsely influence the risk rating for heart disease from this test.
Research has also shown that significant numbers of premature and low-weight births are accompanied by unhealthy gums. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can exacerbate sensitive gums and can aggravate symptoms.
There is a stronger connection with diabetes and gum disease: poorly managed diabetes jeopardizes the immune system, causing the body to work harder to fight any infections. Inflammation can be increased thereby creating an environment for developing gum disease. Increased levels of inflammation are related to a reduction in insulin sensitivity and higher blood sugar.
Stress is also known to compromise the immune system and increases the risk of developing infection. It appears that cortisol, which is released when stressed, weakens the immune system and leaves strained
bodies with a higher likelihood of getting an infection. Finally, when you are stressed out, you are less likely to take care of yourself, including getting enough sleep.