Today’s issue of the Straits Times newspaper contained an article about the relationship between the number of times one brushed one’s teeth and the incidence of heart disease. The British Medical Journal published the results of a study which surveyed 12,000 people and concluded that there was a 70% extra risk of heart disease in those who did not brush their teeth regularly (at least twice a day everyday).
Failure to maintain proper hygiene in the mouth can lead to inflammation of the gums and tooth infection. Unhealthy gums also leads to gum problems such as bleeding gums, swollen gums, receding gums and ultimately to tooth and bone loss. Research has also shown a close link between gum disease and other common health disorders such as diabetes, lung problems, etc. In addition, women who are pregnant are more prone to gum disease. If uncontrolled, this can result in early delivery of babies who are then more susceptible to allergies.
The steps to healthy gums are really quite simple:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day everyday, with soft bristle toothbrush
- Make sure you also brush your gums and the sides/back of the teeth and the hard to reach corners
- Floss between your teeth
- See your dentist regularly (at least every 6 months) for a professional check-up and cleaning. Your dentist should be able to spot any problems with your teeth/gums early and treat the problem before it becomes an issue