Did you know there is a direct correlation between your dental health and your overall health? In fact, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a part of the NIH, concludes that the mouth is a mirror of health and disease. Because of this, the mouth can act as an early warning system for poor health. (1)
Our mouths are filled with bacteria. This includes both harmless and harmful bacteria that cause oral infections, cavities, gum disease and bad breath. But, practicing good oral hygiene routines that include daily brushing, flossing and oil pulling can help to keep the harmful bacteria under control to prevent serious dental problems including periodontal disease and receding gums.
Receding gums are one of the most dramatic signs of gum disease. When bacteria-containing plaque builds up on the gums and teeth, it causes inflammation so severe that it can actually destroy gum tissue. This can lead to the gums pulling away from the teeth, exposing the roots, and the development of small pockets that harbor harmful bacteria.
According to the Mayo Clinic, oral bacteria and inflammation may play a role in diseases including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, premature birth, rheumatoid arthritis and head and neck cancers. (2) Keeping our teeth and gums healthy must be a priority and — as we age — not only for our dental health but also for our long-term health.
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