Want a healthy mind and body? Start with a healthy smile.

The decision to improve our health typically starts with a new diet or a membership to a gym, but more and more, we’re finding that the mouth would also be a good place to start. Many Americans are currently suffering from gum (periodontal) disease and don’t realize it. Even more people fail to realize a key link exists between oral and overall health.

Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque—the bacteria-filled film that forms on teeth and can sometimes feel sticky or “fuzzy.” Left untreated, it can cause deterioration of the gum tissue and bone, which can lead to receding gums and possibly tooth loss. But it doesn’t always stop there. Studies show gum disease can also contribute to major health issues, such as:

Want a healthy mind and body?

Heart attack
Widely accepted research has shown that people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Bacteria from a gum infection can enter the blood stream and invade the heart vessels to cause infection or inflammation.

Diabetes
Diabetic patients already have a hard time healing and fighting infection and gum disease can make it even harder. Gum inflammation can make it much more difficult for a diabetic patient to control blood sugar and can lead to an increased risk of diabetic nephropathy and heart disease.

Stroke
People with severe gum disease are four and a half times more likely to suffer a stroke than those with healthy gums.

Alzheimer’s Disease
The Journal of the American Dental Association reports that chronic gum inflammation increases an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease within their lifetime.

“Recent research has shown many of the frightening diseases mentioned above can be better controlled or possibly even prevented when conditions in the mouth are treated,” according to Jamie Toop, DDS, a Smile Generation-trusted dentist in Las Vegas.

What can you do? For starters, you can optimize your oral health by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. And, see your dentist at least every six months for a teeth cleaning and checkup.

Smile Generation®-trusted dentists work closely with periodontists, who are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. To find a local dentist who specializes in comprehensive, advanced dentistry, visit SmileGeneration.com or call 1-800-SMILEGEN today.

[1] How Cardiovascular Stroke Risks Relate. Retrieved from:http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/LifeAfterStroke/HealthyLivingAfterStroke/UnderstandingRiskyConditions/How-Cardiovascular-Stroke-Risks-Relate_UCM_310369_Article.jsp

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