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Dental Health Isn't Just About Tooth Decay

We all know that if we slip off our brushing routine that we start to feel a little on the unhealthy side, but did you know that poor dental hygiene can lead to more serious problems beyond just tooth decay?

Let's jump to the chase. If you're not brushing and flossing twice a day then you could be looking at some very serious health issues in your future.

We now know that Alzheimer's disease, Heart disease, and Pancreatic cancer are all linked to poor dental hygiene, and that's just the tip of the iceberg but those are some pretty scary illnesses so we'll focus on those.

Alzheimer's Disease

Over the year a number of studies have been conducted that have suggested a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer's disease.

In this study, researchers reviewed 20 years of data but admittedly, there was a rather small sample size. Nonetheless, researchers found that when comparing the cognitive function of folks at the age of 50 compared to those ages 70, there was a strong association between gum disease such as gingivitis with low scores for cognitive function.

Another study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that the brain samples from patients with dementia revealed the presence of Porphyromonas gingivitis in the samples of the brains affected by Alzheimer's. This is a bacterium that is usually associated with chronic periodontal disease - also known as gum disease.

Heart Disease

The link between heart disease and poor dental hygiene has been well-researched and documented for many years.

What researchers have found is that if you're one of those people with poor dental hygiene, meaning you haven't taken care of your teeth through regular brushing and flossing, and as a result, you suffer from bleeding gums, then you're at risk of heart disease.

The reason is that people with bleeding gums release bacteria that would normally be contained in the mouth but instead is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets which can then form blood clots, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart, thereby triggering a heart attack.

Don't forget, the mouth is essentially the dirtiest place in the human body. We need constant vigilance when it comes to keeping it clean and healthy.

Pancreatic Cancer

No one likes to hear the word cancer, and for good reason, it's a scary word. It's even scarier to think that poor dental hygiene can lead to any kind of cancer, but that's the case.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported strong evidence of a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer and published their findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Basically, periodontist, a type of gum inflammation caused by poor dental hygiene, is associated with pancreatic cancer.

Here's the really scary number. The researchers examined over 51,000 men and found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared to men with good dental hygiene.

The bottom line is this, take care of your teeth because it's not just about having a pretty smile, it's about keeping healthy for a lifetime.

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