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Oral Hygiene Could be Affecting More than just Teeth

Posted on May 31st, 2013 by

We know how important regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are for oral health. However, taking care of your teeth isn’t just good for your teeth; oral hygiene can affect overall body health as well.
First, it can reduce the risk of premature birth. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found an association between the use of a non-alcoholic mouth rinse in pregnant women and a decreased rate of early delivery. Researchers found that out of the 226 women with periodontal disease analyzed, those who used the rinse twice a day were three-fourths as likely to deliver their babies early.
Keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy can also reduce the risk of heart problems. Those with periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. This is caused from bacteria entering the bloodstream through wounds inside the mouth, resulting in an infection of the heart or lungs. Poor oral health will not directly cause heart problems, but combined with other risk factors it can increase your chances.
Improper oral care can increase your chances of dementia as well. The number of teeth people before the age of 35 is associated with an increased risk of dementia, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Research shows having a lower amount of teeth has a correlation with an onset of dementia later in life.
In a 2007, researchers found a link between periodontal disease and a progression toward diabetes on rats that were already prediabetic. The research is still early, but it gives another reason to take care of your teeth.
The final link was published in the Journal of Periodontology and was found between periodontal disease and pulmonary disease such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. By keeping up on simple oral hygiene steps, you can prevent or diminish the progression of these harmful diseases.
In conclusion, you may be able to deal with bad breath and a cavity from time to time, but be aware that your oral hygiene habits could also be affecting other areas of your body, and could cause more serious problems down the road.
Courtesy of The Huffington Post

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