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Why is oral health important?

One should practice oral health because:
  • Plaque consists of bacteria and bits of food that coat the tooth.
  • Bacteria in your mouth eat sugar and release an acid that can wear away the enamel, causing cavities.
  • Brushing after eating removes the plaque before it can produce an acid.
  • Flossing removes the plaque between the teeth.
  • Research shows that many people with diabetes are also likely to have gum disease, which increases the risk of encountering other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Poor oral health can cause everything from pain and difficulty eating to reduced self-esteem and lost school and work time. But many people don’t realize that dental health is also closely connected to overall health. “The oral cavity can be viewed as a window to our body, both by providing early warning signs of diseases and through a connection between dental diseases and increased risk for a variety of significant medical conditions,” says David Wong, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., professor and associate dean of research at the UCLA School of Dentistry.

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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.