Daily Brushing and Flossing for a Healthy Mouth and Body
Did you know that daily brushing and flossing gives you more than a great, healthy smile? They help keep the rest of your body healthy too. Research shows that when gum disease strikes and the teeth and gums become unhealthy, the rest of the body can suffer from poor health too.
Studies now show the inflammation caused by gum disease can cause bacteria to travel to other areas in the body. This can lead to new infections or exacerbate existing ones in the organs, lungs and joints. In fact, pancreatic cancer and heart disease are now strongly linked to untreated gum disease. Other health problems have been linked with gum disease too:
- Memory Loss: Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry shows that adults with gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, didn’t perform as well on memory and cognitive skills tests as adults who didn’t have gum disease. Those with gum disease were also more likely to do poorly on tests that measured verbal recall and subtraction.
- Diabetes: Diabetes and gum disease can go hand-in-hand if patients don’t practice daily brushing and flossing. Gum infections are harder to fight if you have diabetes and gum disease left untreated also makes it more difficult for diabetics to control blood sugar levels. That’s why a healthy mouth, free of gum disease, is so important if you have diabetes.
- Pre-term Delivery and Low Birth Weight Babies: Some research suggests gum disease can cause women to have pre-term and/or low birth weight babies. One in eight children is born prematurely so why not take some steps to ensure your baby isn’t one of them. Daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings are all it takes to avoid gum disease. If you’re pregnant, talk to your dental provider for more information about oral health and pregnancy.
Daily brushing and flossing is the easiest way to prevent gum disease. So the next time you decide to skip it, please think again. The same goes for children. Remember to be a good role model to the kids in your life by making daily brushing and flossing a regular part of everyone’s day.