Dental Hygiene

Good dental hygiene can protect your teeth and gums from decay and other serious problems. Left untreated, dental and gum diseases can lead to tooth loss, infection, and damage to bones and nerves.

The American Dental Association offers these guidelines for proper hygiene:
* At least twice a day (and after meals when you can), brush with a fluoride toothpaste.
* Use an antimicrobial mouthwash.
* Floss at least once each day. If possible, floss after every meal to remove food particles from between teeth.
* Get a new toothbrush at least once every three months, or whenever the brush’s bristles become frayed and worn.
* Limit sugary meals, drinks and snacks.
* Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. (HealthDay News)

What this health update does not discuss, is the link between bad oral hygiene and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease have almost twice the risk of CVD as those without periodontal disease.

Researchers are not exactly sure why periodontal disease is linked to CVD; one possibility is that the bacteria actually damage the artery walls causing clots to form in order to repair the damage which can lead to fatty plaques. When researchers look at the areas where plaque has formed in the arteries they have found damaged tissue caused by viruses and bacteria.


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