The Basics of Oral Health
Brush and floss… we have all heard that before!
Sure, you want a healthy mouth so that you can keep all your own natural teeth. And yes, we want a healthy looking smile because well, it looks good. But in recent years science has uncovered a deeper connection, one directly related to the rest of your body and your overall health.
When we don’t brush and floss properly we become susceptible to gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis or worse periodontal disease. Make no mistake this is serious bacterial infection of the mouth and as a result causes inflammation of the gums and if left untreated will make your teeth loose and ultimately fall out. Not only is it affecting your teeth but studies suggest gum disease may contribute to or be warning signs of potentially life threatening conditions such as:
Heart Disease and Stroke:
because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it. Other studies have suggested that the inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body which has also been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
People with diabetes often have some form of gum disease, likely caused by high blood glucose, according to the CDC. People with diabetes need to take extra care to ensure proper brushing and flossing
Preterm Birth Weight:
Babies that are born premature—before 37 weeks of gestation—may face numerous health complications. Research indicates that women with periodontal disease are three to five times more likely to have a baby born preterm compared to women without any form of gum disease.
Gum disease can also suggest other issues including osteoporosis, HIV and yes even certain cancers.
Women need to be aware that they are at higher risk for periodontal disease and gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, their menstrual cycle each month, and then menopause . There is a strong correlation between high hormone levels in the body and inflammation in the gums surrounding the teeth.
Bottom line? The risk of not caring for your teeth far outweighs the effort required to keep your mouth clean — so keep ‘em clean.