The Link Between A Healthy Mouth And A Healthy BodyThe Link Between A Healthy Mouth And A Healthy Body

Getting a dental checkup not only assures that your mouth, teeth and gums are healthy, it can also help to prevent or detect serious diseases in other parts of your body. In fact, dentists now have the ability to identify calcified plaque that can build up in the carotid artery and lead to a stroke.

Signs of systemic diseases like AIDS and diabetes often first show up as oral problems, and research also indicates that periodontitis has been linked with stroke, cardiovascular disease and bacterial pneumonia. It is suspected that when the bacteria associated with periodontal disease enters a person's blood stream, it flows to the cardiovascular region where it can create bacterial endocarditis, stroke, heart disease and blocked arteries. There are studies that indicate the possibility that untreated periodontal disease can have a negative impact on the ability to control blood sugar in people with diabetes. In fact, it is suspected that the bacteria and infection that are a part of periodontal disease are somehow involved with numerous diseases that affect a person's overall health.

Since the bacteria associated with periodontal disease are indicated in having a negative affect on the rest of the body, preventing gum disease is imperative for assuring and maintaining good overall health. And good oral hygiene habits are a strong tool for preventing and correcting gum disease.

Good oral health begins with eating a balanced diet and limiting sugary snacks since sugar, combined with the bacteria in your mouth, creates an acid that eats away tooth enamel causing decay and susceptibility to gum disease. Good oral hygiene starts with thoroughly brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing or using another interdental cleaner to clean between your teeth at least once a day. For brushing your teeth, use a soft-bristled brush in a size and shape that fits your mouth and allows you to easily reach all areas. For those who do not like using floss or find it awkward, there are other interdental cleaners in the form of picks, sticks or special brushes. You dentist can advise you on the best products for your teeth and mouth. And regular cleanings in your dentist's office are essential because professional cleanings are the only way that calculus (tartar) can be removed.

If you notice any of the following things happening in your mouth, see your dentist right away because they could be an indicator of something else going on in your body, or if left to manifest, they could be the beginning of something very serious.

Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
Gums that are red, tender or swollen
A change in the way your teeth fit together
Loose or separating teeth
A change in how your partial dentures fit
Persistent bad breath
Pus between your teeth and gums

And the next time you want to hurry through or skip brushing or flossing your teeth, remember that these simple steps are a big deal when it comes to your overall health.
by Dr. Vito Clarizio
References and Bibliography
After graduating as a Doctor of Medical Dentistry in 1988 Dr. Vito Clarizio started his own practice in Whitestone, NY and has been in private practice in this location for over 20 years. He is loved by both his patients and his staff. Visit
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