Dental problems contribute to poor general health

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In previous generations, the worst possible result of having tooth decay or gum disease was thought to be the loss of a tooth; however, recent research studies have consistently found a link between poor oral health and several general health issues.

Several studies have confirmed a link between dental health issues and serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses; recent studies have also warned of the dangers of poor oral health during pregnancy, as traces of harmful bacteria resulting from a mother infected with gum disease were found in the bloodstream of a baby that was stillborn.

Canadian researchers have been working on studies that focus on the relationship between oral health and heart health and have found a positive correlation between oral health problems and heart problems; the bacteria associated with periodontal disease also makes patients susceptible to cardiovascular conditions; the connection is particularly strong after a patient has undergone heart surgery.

In light of the results published by numerous researchers, the message from experts is now very clear; patients must take care of their teeth and gums. Dental health is often overlooked and takes a backseat in relation to other health conditions; however, with countless studies now suggesting that dental contributes to overall health, perhaps people will take notice of the warnings.

Dentists are urging patients to adopt a suitable oral hygiene routine, which takes only a few minutes each day and could make a real difference to oral health. Patients are encouraged to brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss and rinse regularly; they should also visit their dentist on a regular basis and make positive lifestyle choices, including eating a healthy diet and cutting down on excessive drinking and smoking. 

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