Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and accounts for 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, based on an article published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, oral health plays a significant role in heart disease, which can be prevented if people eat healthier diets low in sugar content.

Poor oral health and excessive sugar intake can cause people to develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. The infection and inflammation that occur in the mouth as a result of having gum disease can spread to other parts of the body and result in atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing and hardening of arteries.

When arteries become narrow and hardened, a person’s blood flow becomes dangerously restricted, and can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, all collectively known as heart disease.

The article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine says that health officials should begin to target junk food and spread awareness about the dangers of high sugar consumption, as both could lead to gum disease as well as heart disease. Soft drinks and sodas are also major contributors to gum disease and heart disease, especially in the United States.

The authors point out that New York’s recent soda ban is a great first step toward heightening awareness about the health risks involved with high sugar consumption, but that other regions around the world are still offering junk food in easily accessible areas of the public, such as schools and hospitals. Health officials and experts should begin to take a stronger stance with encouraging the public to consume less junk food and to lower the risk for gum disease and heart disease.

Rock Creek Wellness offers advanced cardiovascular screening to assess your risk factors for heart disease and help reduce your risk. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive age management and wellness services.