Why is brushing your teeth each day important for your overall health?

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Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
The mouth is the gateway to the body, says Dante Gonzales, DMD. In this video he explains how the health of your mouth affects your overall health.
Oral health does affect overall health. For example, bad oral hygiene is often linked to heart disease. Brush your teeth at least two times a day, eat a healthy diet, floss regularly, and visit your dentist to maintain good oral health.
Anne Fabiny
Geriatric Medicine
Oral health problems can affect overall health. Poor nutrition sometimes stems from trouble chewing, difficulty swallowing due to too little saliva, or ill-fitting dentures that work poorly or hurt. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) may also have broader health implications, as increasing evidence links gum diseases to diabetes and heart disease.
Oral health can have an impact on your overall health. That's because the healthier your mouth and gums are, the more likely you are to be healthy overall. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems although there is no conclusive research showing that severe gum disease raises a risk of heart disease.

You can practice good oral hygiene by always brushing your teeth twice a day with ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Your dentist may also recommend an antimicrobial mouth rinse as part of your oral hygiene routine. Don't forget to schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy.
Peggy Rosen
Dentist
Studies have shown links between dental health and general health. Here are a few of the many health problems that can be aggravated by poor oral health.
  1. Stroke -- patients with adult periodontitis may have increased risk of stroke.
  2. Respiratory infections -- dental plaque buildup creates a source of bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs leading to pneumonia.
  3. Severe Osteopenia -- the severity of osteopenia has been connected to tooth loss in post-menopausal women.
  4. Uncontrolled Diabetes -- chronic periodontal disease can disrupt diabetic control.
  5. Pre-Term or Low Birth weight Babies -- oral microbes can cross the placental barrier; exposing the fetus to infection. Women with advanced gum disease are more likely to give birth to an underweight baby.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste cleans the teeth and removes food, debris, and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Research shows that people with severe gum disease are more likely to also get other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Pregnant women who have severe gum disease are more likely to have their babies too soon or to have babies who are below normal weight. People with diabetes who also have gum disease have more trouble keeping their blood sugar under control.
According to a University of Minnesota study, proper teeth brushing can help prevent blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. The study revealed that bacterial deposits accumulated in the teeth due to lack of regular brushing can find their way into the blood stream and help form clots.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Brushing your teeth helps not only your mouth, but helps your heart too. Find out how a healthy mouth can lead to a healthy body as Dr. Oz explains in this video.

 

Continue Learning about Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily constitute the basics of good oral hygiene. Keeping other parts of your mouth, such as your gums, healthy can benefit your overall health by preventing the spread of germs and dis...

ease. At-home care should be supplemented by professional care. When plaque or tartar develops, a dentist or oral hygienist will use special tools to scrape (scale) the teeth clean without damage. Flouride treatment can help keep teeth cavity-free. Learn more about healthy oral hygiene with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.