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How oral health affects overall health

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Many people understand that poor dental hygiene and dental care can lead to tooth decay. However, not many know that poor oral health and dental care can also lead to more serious health problems. If one does not take care of their teeth, they could face far more serious consequences than just a simple filling to fix a cavity.

According to Mayo Clinic, here are some areas of concern:

- Cardiovascular disease: Sometimes, bacteria from the inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart. This can cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis causes plaque to build up on the inner walls of the arteries and can decrease or block blood flow through the body. This can lead to an increased risk of heart attack or a stroke. In certain cases, the inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed.

-Respiratory infections: Just as mentioned above, gum disease could also cause some people to get infections in their lungs, including pneumonia.

-Diabetic complications: Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can also make it harder for someone with diabetes to control their blood sugar, and hence make their diabetes worse. People who suffer from diabetes are also more susceptible to periodontal disease as diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, thus making proper dental hygiene and care more important.

As described above, maintaining proper oral hygiene and care not only keeps your teeth looking shiny, but can also prevent serious illnesses. It is important to establish and keep to a routine, and to keep up to date with your check ups with the dentist. Prevention is certainly better than cure!

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