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Monday, December 18, 2017

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

The benefits of proper oral hygiene and care of your mouth and gums extend far beyond that sparkling smile.  A healthy mouth directly contributes to maintaining a healthy body!


Pancreatic Cancer and Heart Disease

Good oral health that is free of inflammation and infections has recently been linked to reducing risk factors for other health problems including pancreatic cancer and heart disease.  Periodontal disease and inflammation allow bacteria in the mouth access to your bloodstream and subsequently other parts of your body.  It can travel to other parts or systems, causing or worsening infections in many areas.


Memory

Maintaining your healthy smile does not only help you avoid oral conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis, it can also improve your memory!  The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychaitry conducted a study  in which adults with gingivitis scored lower than those with healthy gums on tests of memory and cognitive skills.  They also were more likely to score lower on tests of delayed verbal recall and subtraction.  Imagine being able to maximize your mental abilities just through basic oral care!


Diabetes

Diabetes diminishes the body’s ability to combat infections, including periodontal infections. Thus, diabetics are more likely to experience periodontal complications.  Additionally some studies indicate that periodontal disease impacts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. With proper and thorough treatment of periodontal disease, even in its earliest stages, you can improve your diabetic state and reduce the risk of further diabetic complications.


Pre-Term Delivery and Low Birth Weight Babies

Research indicates a connection between gingivitis and pre-term births and low birth-weights.  Expectant mothers go to great lengths to ensure the health of their unborn children, and oral health should not be discounted from those efforts. Dental exams are an important part of your pre-natal care regimen. Your dentist can offer important, basic steps to take toward a safe and healthy pregnancy.

The health associations with good oral health don’t stop here.  This is just a sampling of how a healthy mouth really does support a healthy you!


A Healthy Mouth Begins in Childhood

Good oral health is a life-long habit that should begin early.  By teaching your children from a young age about how to care for their teeth and gums, you are starting them on a path for decreased health risks in adulthood.  If you are tempted to be lax in your own oral care, remember that you are the role model your children look to.  Don’t mislead them; show them that you too know the value of a healthy mouth.

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