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Oral health impacts systemic diseases: Report

April 03, 2017

Oral health problems can cause more than just pain and suffering. They can lead to difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing, affecting your ability to consume the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy, participate in daily activities and interact with others. Poor nutrition also can lead to tooth decay and obesity. In a recent study, researchers at the University of Buffalo examined 65 children, ages two through five, who were treated for cavities in their baby teeth. Nearly 28 percent of them had a body-mass index indicating they were either overweight or obese.

To keep your teeth, gums and body healthy, PDA recommends the following:

Provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.Floss daily to help remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that gets stuck between your teeth and under your gums.Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning to help prevent any problems and detect possible problems in their early stages. The mouth is often the location used to diagnose a variety of diseases.Eat a well balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthier immune system, help prevent heart disease and slow diabetes disease progression.If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.

"A clean mouth will lead to a clean body," Dr. Grater said. "Although you clean your mouth every day at home, regular checkups to the dentist will prevent additional disease that can likely cause you to be sick."

SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association