Not Just For Cavities: Brushing Your Teeth Affects Your Body's Total Health

Aside from the obvious social implications, getting a bit lax on brushing your teeth can lead to more than just cavities. The same bacteria that causes tooth decay has been linked straight to heart disease, and even strokes, and it's more than just coincidence that "plaque" is used to describe both the stuff in your mouth, and the stuff clogging in your arteries.

Photo by Rodrigo Amorim.

It may not be severe enough to really notice, but lax brushing can cause inflammation of the gums, which usually tends to result in bleeding as well. If there's bleeding, then there's a route for bacteria to take into your bloodstream, and people who are already at risk for heart conditions or arthritis could be making things worse for themselves later on by not brushing well enough.

Brushing regularly and well helps keep plaque and bacteria off teeth, but, as Deepak Chopra notes, "teeth make up only about 20% of the surface area in your mouth"—so people who think that brushing alone is enough are sorely mistaken. It really is important to both floss, as well as use some sort of antibacterial rinse, because that other 80% of your mouth can quickly dwarf the freshly cleaned 20%, and reverse any progress made there.

Weekly Health Tip: New Reasons to Brush and Floss [Aol Healthy Living]


Comments

    Now if we can just get the bloody government to acknowledge the issue and add dental care to Medicare, we might actually cut down a good percentage of dental and dentally caused illnesses, and in the process save some money for the country in the long run!! The idiots are very short sighted when it comes to a lot of things, but dental care really shouldn't be one of them :[

      I'm primarily just grateful for the amount that Medicare DOES cover. The public health system has no shortage of shortcomings, but is miles ahead some other first world countries.

        There are countries out there less better off than Australia that have better health care including dental, Cuba, for example has excellent health care and Americans have been known to travel there for dental care!! There is absolutely no excuse for the state of dental care in OZ....

    I am not so sure about the anti-bacterial rinse. I believe that your mouth also contains beneficial bacteria which you do not want to kill off. If anyone knows more about this, please comment.

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