In a recent article by Yahoo.com health, they discuss how dental care and the health of your teeth can be an indicator of the health of your body. You see, poor oral hygiene can lead to more than cavities and bad breath, it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, gum disease and more.
1. Why is Oral Hygiene so important?
You probably already know that brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every day is important dental care to prevent cavities, gingivitis and losing your teeth later in life. Your dentist may not have told you that good dental care is important for your overall health as well.
If you don’t brush your teeth daily this can lead to the growth of dangerous bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth, which can cause cavities, gingivitis, also known as bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gum line and can eventually lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, periodontal disease and other health problems.
This is due to bleeding gums and receding gum lines allow toxic bacteria to enter your blood stream. Once in the blood stream, bacteria can cause havoc, particularly leading to plaque build up in arteries that can cause heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. This dangerous outcomes can be prevented by practicing good dental care, such as brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your dentist every six months.
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What is Gingivitis?
You might see those pamphlets in your dentist office on what is Gingivitis or pictures on the dentist office walls of people with swollen and bleeding gums. This is gingivitis. While quite unsightly, this condition can be the precursor to even more serious health problems.
Gingivitis, which leads to swollen and bleeding gums causes tiny gaps between the teeth and gums that allows dangerous bacteria to enter your blood stream. Once inside your body, these bacteria can take hold and cause many serious health problems including:
2. Gum Disease and Heart Disease
People with gum disease run a risk of developing heart disease. The bacteria that enters your blood stream can make its way to your arteries and heart valves, where they can take hold and cause the build up of plaque and inflammation along the inside walls of your arteries.
This build up restricts the flow of blood and can eventually lead to arterial sclerosis, heart attack or stroke.
The best way to prevent gum disease is practice good dental care.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Type 2 Diabetes
A study by Columbia University that followed 9,000 participants found that those in the study group with periodontal Disease as a result of poor oral hygiene were 2 times more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than those in the study group who practiced good oral hygiene. The study also found people with Type 2 Diabetes were more likely to develop periodontal disease than those participants who were non-diabetic.
3. Health Effects of Periodontal Disease
Good oral hygiene, which starts with brushing your teeth daily may actually help save the life of women. If using a manual toothbrush doesn’t remove the plaque and bacteria from your teeth, you should try using an electric tooth brush.
A study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found women who had poor oral hygiene were nearly 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who were free of periodontal disease.
Once bacteria enters your body through gaps between teeth and gums, it has free reign in your body. If the bacteria settles in your lungs, this can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, COPD or a sepsis, which is a serious blood infection. People with poor oral hygiene are more likely to develop these conditions, and these condition can be serious or life threatening in the elderly, or people with weak or compromised immune systems.
4. How Good Dental Care can Prevent Disease or Illness?
By simply brushing two times a day, flossing every day to remove plaque and tartar build up from your teeth and gums and visiting the dentist twice a year, you can easily prevent many dangerous or life threatening diseases. While good dental care alone will not prevent you from getting these diseases, this can significantly reduce your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer.