Taking good care of your teeth, gums or just your mouth in general is great for your oral health. It can reduce things like bad breath and gum disease. Not brushing or flossing regularly can leave plaque building up on your gumline and even between your teeth. YUCK. These can lead to other serious health issues in your mouth and gums. Regular dental visits can also help with overall oral hygiene. Some dentists are even doing additional screenings for things like oral cancer and stroke.
But did you know there are even more reasons to brush those pearly whites?
Researchers have discovered that a health mouth, can help ward off other health issues. Who knew that just by brushing and flossing you could lower your risk for things like heart disease and stroke? Things like gum disease can actually raise your risk in these and other areas.
YOUR MOUTH IS THE WINDOW TO YOUR BODY
Just by taking a small amount of saliva, doctors are able to tell what is going on in other parts of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.
Doctors can also test saliva for things like Coritsol ( high levels show up when stressed) or other things like proteins which can show bone loss for men or women suffering from osteoporosis. Even certain cancer markers can show up in saliva.
SALIVA PLAYS DEFENSE
Saliva is a pretty cool response your body has as a defense against disease-causing organisms, things like bacteria and viruses. Your saliva is able to do things like fight naturally occurring fungus or attack the common cold. In a nutshell, your saliva contains enzymes that can destroy bacteria.
MORE REASONS TO BRUSH AND HAVE GOOD ORAL HEALTH
A long-term study by the Laguna Hills Retirement community showed there a link between oral health and dementia. This was related in two areas. First, people with better oral health tend to take better care of their overall health. But they also found that there was more bacteria related to oral health in the brains of those patients with Alzheimer’s than those who were cognitively healthy.
Pathogens in your mouth -when inhaled go directly to your lungs. But it’s been shown that you can reduce the chances of things like pneumonia by up to 40% with good oral health.
Cardiovascular disease and Endocarditis have been shown to be linked to oral health. Clogged arteries and stroke might be connected to the inflammation or infection from oral bacteria.
Finally, even things like pregnancy, diabetes, osteoporosis and erectile dysfunction have been linked to poor oral health.
While on the surface, it may not seem that important to floss and brush your teeth twice a day. But when you look deeper, past even the healthy mouth benefits, it might make sense to start making the time to incrementally give your overall health a boost.
Haven’t been to the dentist in a while? Might be good to start there and get a good overall check-up and cleaning.
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