From Dr. Mercola:
Your dental health is an important component of your physical health. It’s a frequently underappreciated aspect that can have a profound systemic influence. In fact, thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease.
Your mouth is like a window to your health; the soft tissues and your teeth reflect what’s going on in the rest of your body. Inflammation is well-known as a “ravaging” and disease-causing force, and gum disease and other oral diseases produce chronic low-grade inflammation.
When the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease enter into your circulatory system, it causes your liver to release C-reactive proteins, which have inflammatory effects on your entire circulatory system.
Health Risks Associated With Poor Oral Health
There’s also a 700 percent higher incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with gum disease, courtesy of the inflammatory effects of unbalanced microflora in your mouth. Other health effects associated with poor oral health include an increased risk of:3
Bad breath (halitosis) Dementia: failing to brush twice a day increases your risk of dementia by as much as 65 percent, compared to brushing three times a day Pneumonia: good oral hygiene has been shown to lower your risk of pneumonia by about 40 percent. Other research has shown that people with periodontitis have a 300 percent greater chance of contracting pneumonia Erectile dysfunction (ED): ED is more than twice as common among those with periodontitis than those without ED Kidney disease and more
Overall, your diet is the most significant determinant of your oral and dental health, but how you clean your teeth can also make a big difference. Flossing, for example, is an important strategy, yet one-third of American adults never floss. If you’re one of them, I’d encourage you to reconsider.
The Importance of Flossing
Flossing is perhaps even more important than brushing because it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing.
Tartar is what eventually causes the damage that leads to decay and tooth loss. Most people are aware that flossing is a recommended practice for optimal oral health, yet nearly one-third of Americans never floss.
32.4 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 30 never floss 37.3 percent floss, but not daily 30.3 percent floss on a daily basis More women than men never floss Low-income participants are less likely to floss than those in higher income brackets Flossing Guidelines
Use a piece of floss that is about 15 to 18 inches long, wrapping each end around your index fingers. Slide the floss