People with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack than those without it. Here’s why – plaque, the sticky bacteria laden film that accumulates on teeth can damage gums and create bone loss. The lost bone under the gums creates small pockets -spaces between the gum and the tooth where the bone used to be. These pockets harbor bacteria and the deeper the pocket, the more the bacteria breed and destroy. This bacteria then enters the bloodstream and causes chronic inflammation that increases the risk for clots and other heart attack risk factors.
When you chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol, a natural sweetener that suppresses mouth bacteria, you are helping to lessen this dangerous chronic inflammation. Also, be sure to floss every day. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who take care of their gums with regular flossing and brushing and regular visits to their dentists have improved function of the arteries. Their arteries expand and contract more normally.
So when you feel like having something sweet, reach for your xylitol sweetened gum and protect your teeth and your heart at the same time!
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