A Healthy Smile Equals a Healthy Body

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smileOral hygiene is important. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting the office for your cleanings every six months go a long way toward keeping your teeth and gums in tip top shape. Besides keeping those chompers in check, good oral health is a good defense against various diseases.

Poor Oral Health Can Lead to These Diseases

Healthy Gums Equal Healthy Lungs: The air we breathe is moisturized with water droplets in our mouths. Bacteria in your mouth can attach to those droplets and end up in your lungs, causing pneumonia. Those who skip their yearly cleanings are 86 percent more likely to contract pneumonia than those who make it to the office every six months.

Want a Healthy Heart? Keep Your Teeth Clean: According to the National Institute of Health, keeping your mouth clean and healthy can reduce risk of heart attack. In a study focused on 128 adults, patients underwent a comprehensive health screening before they filled out a questionnaire about their dental health habits. Upon analysis of the data, scientists were able to find a significant link between good oral hygiene habits and cardiovascular risk factors.

Poor Oral Health May be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease: According to WebMD, the same bacteria that exacerbates gingivitis may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2013 study, scientists analyzed 10 brains of patients with Alzheimer’s, and 10 brains of patients without Alzheimer’s. In 4 out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients, scientists found the same type of bacteria that causes gingivitis.  “We are working on the theory that when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria and/or debris from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss,” says Sim Singhrao, PhD.

If you’re keeping up with your regular dental hygiene, you are taking steps to improve your overall health. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental cleaning, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at Alrez Family Dentistry.

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