What is Good Oral Hygiene?
Good oral hygiene comprises of various attributes like these:
- Clean teeth, free of debris.
- Pink gums with no signs of swelling, bleeding while you brush or floss.
- Bad breath is not a constant problem.
While it is common knowledge that poor dental hygiene can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, it may even account for far deadlier diseases than we ever thought it would. Worried already? Just read on.
A team of researchers from New York University (NYU) established startling linkages between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease after reviewing 20 years of data on the association. This NYU team arrived to the conclusion that there was a strong connection between low scores for cognitive function and gum inflammation at the age of 70.Surprisingly, factors like obesity, smoking, and tooth loss had no relation to gum inflammation. In 2013, researchers from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, compared brain samples of living people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s with people who didn’t have it. They found that a bacterium, P. Gingivalis, was present in those who had Alzheimer’s, but not in those who didn’t have it. P. Gingivalis is also associated with chronic gum disease. Doctors state that gum disease causing bacteria are capable of motion and are often found in the brain tissue.
A research team from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, found a very strong link between periodontitis, a kind of gum disease and pancreatic cancer in the year 2007. Their analysis revealed that there was a 64% greater chance of men developing pancreatic cancer if they had a history of gum disease compared to those who didn’t. This research team also found that the greatest risk of developing pancreatic cancer was in those men who had a recent tooth loss.
It’s now a well known fact that sound oral health paves the way for a healthy heart. In the year 2008, joint teams from the University of Bristol in the UK and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, concluded that bleeding gums resulting from bad dental hygiene carried an increased risk of developing heart disease. This happens because the bacteria present in the mouth enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which forms blood clots that interrupts the flow of blood to the heart and ultimately lead to a heart attack.
The mouth-body connection manifests itself in its strongest form in the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. Medical researches indicate that inflammation in the mouth could weaken the body’s capability to control blood sugar that leads to Type-2 diabetes. Periodontal disease exacerbates diabetes, as the inflammation diminishes the body’s ability to harness insulin.
How can I protect my oral health?
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes (recommended by American Dental Hygienists’ Association).
- Floss daily – If you don’t, you miss 34% of your teeth un-cleaned.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks – Un-healthy foods and soda may damage your tooth enamel and make your teeth more prone to sensitivity.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed- Make sure you do replace your toothbrush regularly and especially when you get sick in order to be healthy.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups – Dodging your dentist might cost you more in the long run. Make sure to visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
- Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health as it serves as window to your overall well-being. For more such information and tips, you may subscribe to our blog updates and also contact our dentists in des moines, Plaza Dental Group. For receiving frequent updates and appointment scheduling, download our free app today!!
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Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists