When was the last time you visited the dentist? Taking care of your teeth isn't just for aesthetics. It's also for your overall good health.

According to studies, there is a link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease (CVD), experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine have warned.

Co-author Dr Ahmed Rashid writes: "It's an additional mechanism by which junk food can elevate your risk of having a heart attack. We know that junk food causes heart disease, we assume it's through salt and fat but people don't mention sugar, or if they do it is in terms of obesity".

Bad oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which is triggered by excess sugar consumption, which can then lead to inflammatory responses that lead to CVD through a process called atherosclerosis.

The paper says that the association between oral health and CVD "suggests that reducing sugar consumption may be a particularly important target for future health policy in this area".

The obvious advice here is three things:

1. Brush and floss often, and efficiently.
2. Make regular routine visits to the dentist
3. Eat less sugar.

Take care of your teeth, people.