February is National Heart Month. So we’re looking at how the mouth can affect heart health. Keeping a clean and healthy mouth can improve not only your heart health but also your overall health in a few ways. First, bacteria can enter your body through your mouth. If the bacteria in your mouth are unchecked, they can cause tooth decay and infections that can spread throughout your body. But your mouth is also the gateway for food to get into your system. Thus, it is important to choose the foods you eat wisely so that you can maintain your health. Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris, discuss the mouth’s role in maintaining a healthy heart.
A Diet for Your Mouth and Body
Studies show that losing weight reduces the risk of heart disease. Thus, a diet that encourages a healthy weight is good for your body. But is it also good for your mouth? Yes, it is. Diets that limit sugar, remove a major food source for bacteria, and work against tooth decay. When you eat sugar, bacteria chow down too, giving off an acid that wears down tooth enamel. Enamel loss puts your teeth at greater risk for further decay. However, eating a diet that limits sugars and contains lots of fruits and vegetables alongside whole grains and lean proteins encourages a healthy weight and a healthy mouth.
Specific Heart-Healthy Foods
From time to time, doctors note that certain foods are good for the heart. Here are a few foods associated with heart health:
- Salmon – Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against heart attacks and boost your immune system. You can also supplement your diet with omega-3 in pill form.
- Tomatoes – Eating tomatoes can reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol and limit plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Red Cabbage – Red cabbage is a good source of vitamin C. Studies also associate this vegetable with lower cholesterol.
Schedule a Visit with Your Mansfield Dentist
Regular dental visits are an important part of your oral, heart, and overall health. If it’s been six months since your last dental visit, schedule an appointment with your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, by calling 817-473-6227. We proudly serve Mansfield and the surrounding communities of South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, and Midlothian.