4 Important Reasons to Brush Your Teeth (Other Than a Perfect Smile!)

downloadA beautiful smile isn’t the only reason you need to brush and floss. There is growing evidence that your dental health is strongly connected to your overall health.

Here are 4 important reasons to take care of those pearly whites.
1. YOU HELP PREVENT TOOTH DECAY and GUM DISEASE

Hundreds of species of bacteria live in your mouth. Many of them, including Streptococcus mutans, encourage the growth of plaque, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and periodontitis (inflammation of the bones that support the teeth). The health effects range from bad breath to lost teeth and worse.

2. YOU MAY LOWER YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE

Several studies have linked peridontal disease with heart disease. In one study, people who rarely or never brushed their teeth had a 70 percent increased risk of a heart attack. In another, researchers found that analyzing a patient’s level of gingivitis, cavities, and missing teeth was as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.

3. YOU MAY LOWER YOUR RISK OF STROKE

In one recent study, people who had high blood levels of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth were more likely to have atherosclerosis — or hardening of the arteries — in the neck. Clogging of the carotid arteries can lead to stroke.

4. YOU MAY FIGHT OFF DEMENTIA

In one small study, researchers found gum disease-related bacteria in the brain samples of Alzheimer’s patients. They found no such bacteria in the brain samples of people without Alzheimer’s.

Bottom line, preventing and treating gum disease should be at the top of everyone’s dental health list.

GALTIME

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