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Beyond Tooth Decay: Why Good Dental Hygiene is Important

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Dr. Mal Braverman

clean teeth

Beyond the obvious causes of poor dental hygiene of tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, not brushing and taking care of your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illness down the road including Alzheimer’s, pancreatic cancer and heart disease.


In 2010, researchers from NYU concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.

Pancreatic Cancer:

In 2007, a Harvard research team found strong evidence on a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. The two types of gum inflammation associated with pancreatic cancer in the study were periodontitis, which can affect the tissue that supports the teeth and can cause loss of bone around the base of the teeth, and gingivitis, where the tissue around the teeth becomes inflamed.

Heart Disease:

In 2008, researchers in Ireland found that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could be increasing their risk of heart disease. The research showed that heart disease risk was increased in people with bleeding gums because bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which can in turn form blood clots, therefore interrupting the flood of blood to the heart and thus triggering a heart attack.
The American Dental Hygienists Association recommends that we should brush twice daily for at least 2 minutes each time.

Learn more and read the full article here.

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