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Save Your Smile Your Health Depends On It!

Save Your Smile Your Health Depends On It!
Gretchen Malik

Believe it not, more than 400 species of bacteria are creeping around in your mouth right now. These organisms have a field day in your teeth and can cause serious problems.

Approximately 75 percent of adults over 35 in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, according to the American Dental Association, and because of lack of awareness, as well as lack of dental care for poor or uninsured women, women are more at risk. Even more disturbing are recent studies showing that gum disease may

contribute to or aggravate health problems throughout the body (heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, premature birth).

Researchers have found that women with periodontal disease were seven times more likely to have premature low-birth-weight babies than women who were not affected by the disease. Also, people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to die of a heart attack and nearly three times as likely to suffer a stroke. Bacteria in the mouth enter the bloodstream and lead to clogged arteries, blood clots and changes in heart function.

Although gum disease can progress over a period of several months to years, note the following suggestions to prevent permanent damage:

  • Brush twice a day for three to four minutes each time
  • Angle your toothbrush 45 degrees to reach beneath the gum line to remove plaque
  • Floss every day for two to three minutes
  • Buy a new toothbrush every three months
  • Eat healthy to protect your teeth
  • Get a dental checkup once a year, or more often if you are prone to cavities, have symptoms of gum disease or have a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or leukemia.

Remember, protect your smile to protect your health!

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