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Brushing Up Your Immune System

Brushing Up Your Immune System

Want an easy way to stay healthy? Keep your pearly whites shining. Bystaying on top of your oral health and avoiding periodontal or advanced gum disease, you can keep immune system strong and it will fight off the bad guys of infection and other conditions.

This new info comes on top of what you already know about the importance of preventing periodontal disease: Unchecked, it can boost levels of lousy (LDL) cholesterol and increase risk for heart problems. Now researchers are mouthing off about how it causes an imbalance in good and bad oral bacteria -- and that harms your immune system. (We know you’ve just gotten used to thinking that’s it’s a good thing trillions of bacteria live in your guts. Now, it’s time to meet another world of gotta-have-em bacteria living in your mouth.)

Seems when your gums become inflamed and infected that boosts “bad” oral bacteria. They then interfere with your immune system’s warriors, so they’re less able to defeat all kinds of nasty invaders -- from the common cold to more serious conditions, even cancers.

So, make sure you get to a dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleanings; more if you have a predisposition for plaque build-up or cavities or already have gum disease or a weakened immune system. And daily, brush at least twice and floss at least once. That’s your weapon against disease.

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

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