Gum Disease and Your Health
Taking good care of your teeth and gums isn't just about preventing cavities or bad breath. The mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases- those that affect the entire body such as diabetes, AIDS and Sjogren's syndrome- may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.
Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that periodontal, or gum, disease may be associated with a number of systemic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for maintenance, and brush and floss after meals and before bed to avoid plaque buildup.
More than 30,000 new cases of cancer in the oral cavity and surrounding area are diagnosed annually. Between 65 and 75 percent of those are detected during dental health screenings. To help prevent oral cancer, limit alcohol and stop tobacco use.
Resources: The American Dental Association