17 Worst Habits for Your Heart

Here are the worst habits for your heart, and how to avoid them.
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Credit: Corbis

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Not flossing

While the exact reason is unknown, there is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, Dr. Ostfeld says.

If you don’t floss, sticky, bacteria-laden plaque build up over time, which can lead to gum disease. One theory is that these bacteria trigger inflammation in the body.

“Inflammation promotes all aspects of atherosclerosis,” Dr. Ostfeld says. Treating gum disease can improve blood vessel function.

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