Did You Know February is Dental Health Month?

Eva Davis  |  2/21/2014 9:05:25 PM

Just as diet and exercise are linked to a variety of health conditions, so is oral health.

Oral health is linked to heart disease. Studies indicate that people with moderate or advanced periodontal disease are almost twice more likely to have other health conditions than those with healthy gums. Because the mouth is a pathway to the body, it is suggested that gum disease may contribute to heart disease. Bacteria from infected gums can be dislodged and enter the bloodstream where it can attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation. As a result, the blood flow to the heart is decreased which causes an elevation in blood pressure and increases the risk of a heart attack.

Oral health is linked to obesity. It has not been noted until recently that an increased body mass index (BMI) is further related to dental health. When evaluated, people with an increased BMI had slightly worse dental health including gum disease, premature tooth loss and bad breath.

Oral health is linked to cancer. Poor oral health was found to be associated with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which causes HPV-related cancer. HPV needs wounds in the mouth to enter and infect the oral cavity. Poor oral health which may include ulcers, mucosal disruption, or chronic inflammation, may create an entry portal for HPV.

Oral health is linked to diabetes. Bacteria that builds on teeth makes the gums prone to infection. The infection causes the gums to become inflamed. The inflammation can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar.

Tips for Keeping a Healthy Body and a Healthy Smile

  • Control portions and consume fewer calories
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Drink water rather than soft drinks
  • Avoid candies, cookies, cakes, pastries and French fries
  • Avoid junk food and fast foods
  • Do not use food as a reward
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Brush twice a day and floss each night after brushing
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Reference:
www.webmd.com/oral-health

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