October is Dental Hygiene Month (sorry, no cake or sweets with this celebration). Taking care of your teeth and gums can have great health benefits. Here are a few of our favorite facts:
- Boosts Your Self-esteem and Confidence: Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated not only with an unsightly mouth but very bad breath – which, let’s be honest, affects your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem.
- May Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes.
- Preserves Your Memory: Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
- Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body: Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body.
Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar.
Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day.