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Better Living through Dentistry

I read an article on AOL Health recently about flossing and dental care. The article, which was taken from You: The Owners Manual, by Drs. Roizen and Oz, explained how gum disease affects your overall health. Inflammation of the gums can cause a release of c-reactive proteins. These proteins can cause inflammation of the heart muscle and arteries. They referred to an Emory University study that showed that individuals with gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) have a "mortality rate that is 23 to 46 percent higher than those without the disease." According to the authors, complete oral care, brushing, flossing and routine cleanings can add 6.4 years to your life.

July 16, 2012

I read an article on Yahoo.com recently that reinforced my earlier post.  The article summarized some recent research.  The British Medical Journal "analyzed data from over 11,000 adults and that participants who reported brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% greater risk of heart disease versus those who brushed twice daily".

Dentists have known for years that there is a link between gum disease and diabetes.  A recent Columbia University study followed 9296 non diabetic patients over a 20 year period.  Those participants that had Peridontal Disease had a 2 times the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes.

The Journal of Periodontology reported that in a study of 200 patients, aged 20 to 60, found that "patients suffering from a respiratory illness such as pneumonia, acute bronchitis, an upper respiratory tract infection, or COPD" had poor peridontal health.  Researchers think that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be inhaled into the lower respiratory tract and cause breathing problems and disease.

A recent study by the Karolinska Institute, of Sweden, suggests that women with gum disease and missing teeth are 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer.  This is the first study to report this finding and much more research needs to be done.

It has been known for years that pregnant women can have issues with their gums.  50% of pregnant women will develop gingivitis.  However, several studies have suggested that there is a relationship between the bacteria that cause oral infections and premature deliveries and pre eclampsia.

The American Dental Association completed a survey recently of 1500 consumers.  "Eighty five percent of respondents indicated that a good smile is extremely or very important for finding a job".  The same study said that when it came to physical attractiveness, "a nice smile outweighed skin, eyes, hair, and build or figure as the most important attribute".