You probably already know that practicing good oral hygiene habits at home can significantly reduce your risk of tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. However, brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice daily can do much more than keep your teeth and gums healthy. When oral hygiene declines, your risk of developing serious illnesses may increase, some of which could even be life-threatening.
Recent studies have indicated that there may be a link between poor oral hygiene and overall health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. Researchers at New York University and University of Central Lancashire discovered a correlation between periodontal disease and cognitive impairment, reporting that participants of a 20-year study who had gum inflammation were nine times more likely to score in the lower percentile on cognitive tests. At the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers investigated the connection between gum disease and pancreatic cancer, finding the two conditions to be verifiably linked. Additional research conducted at the University of Bristol (UK) and the Royal College of Surgeons (Dublin) concludes that when bacteria enters the bloodstream through bleeding gums and latches to platelets, the risk of a heart attack may increase for some individuals due to interrupted blood flow.
Though none of this research definitively claims poor oral hygiene will cause the serious conditions mentioned above, our cosmetic dentists at Imagine Advanced Dental Arts encourage patients to maintain good oral hygiene as well as schedule routine dental cleanings to help keep their smiles bright and their bodies healthy.
For more information on maintaining oral wellness, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, please contact us today.