Oral hygiene does more than give you a pretty smile and fresh breath. Healthy teeth and gums can help prevent many serious health issues like diabetes and heart conditions.
Many doctors are referring patients to gum specialists these days because your mouth reveals a lot about your body. For example, more than 90% of people with heart conditions also have gum infections and inflammation called periodontitis.
See why it’s so important to keep your mouth in top shape.
- Take care of your heart. The bacteria in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to your heart. Keeping your gums free of inflammation lowers your heart attack and stroke risk.
- Manage diabetes. The link between diabetes and periodontitis is especially strong. Inflammation interferes with your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, and high blood sugar encourages inflammation.
- Reduce respiratory infections. It’s a short path from your mouth to your lungs. Eliminating mouth bacteria makes pneumonia and other infections less likely.
- Strengthen your bones. Sturdy teeth, bones, and joints go together. A nutritious diet fights cavities, osteoporosis, and arthritis.
- Sharpen your thinking. Studies show that people with sturdy gums score higher on tests for cognitive skills. Beef up your memory by brushing your teeth. You may even stave off dementia and enjoy your golden years more.
- Have a healthy baby. Poor dental care has also been linked to premature labor and lowers birth weight. Schedule dental checkups as part of your prenatal care.
Brush, floss, and visit your dentist at least twice a year. What’s good for your teeth and gums is good for your whole body. You’ll be protecting your smile and overall health.