Keep up to date with everything IIB, sign up to our mailing list

Thank you for signing up to our mailing list.

Please fill out all required fields

First Name

Last Name



National Dental Hygiene Month

Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Did you know that poor dental health increases the risk of developing heart disease?

When we have gum disease, the bacteria from our mouth can get into the bloodstream. It then produces a protein which causes the blood to thicken. This means that clots are more likely to form, and the heart is not getting the nutrients and oxygen it needs, resulting in increased risk of a heart attack.

Similarly, gum disease can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels, blocking the blood supply to the brain, leading to a potential stroke.

Research has even found that by keeping our teeth and gums healthy we are more likely to reduce our risk of certain diabetes, certain cancers, as well as some forms of dementia.

How to maintain good oral hygiene

There are many healthy lifestyle habits you can use to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum and heart diseases.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also brush your tongue; this will help get rid of bacteria too

  • Change your toothbrush around every three months. Look out for the bristles starting to bend, as this is a good sign you need a new one

  • Ask your dentist to demonstrate the correct technique for brushing

  • Floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day

  • Use mouthwash regularly. Ideally, do not do this directly after brushing as it will wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch.

  • Refrain from smoking

  • Drink water that contains fluoride

  • Eat a diet high in vegetables, high-fiber foods, low-sugar fruits, and vegetable-based proteins (click here to read our nutrition web page)

  • Maintain healthy levels of blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes

  • See a dentist twice per year for regular cleanings and check-ups

  • Be mindful of early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums and constant bad breath. Let your dentist know if you have any of these symptoms

Gum disease symptoms

Visiting your dentist regularly can help with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. You should also let your dentist know if you have any symptoms of gum disease, including:

  • persistent bad breath

  • swollen, red gums

  • tender gums that bleed easily

  • pain with chewing

  • highly sensitive teeth

  • receding gums or sunken teeth

  • loose teeth or changes in bite

Heart disease symptoms

Click here to read our heart health page that lists other risk factors of heart disease and what you can do to lower your risk.