5 Ways Brushing & Flossing Your Teeth Can Save Your Life
When it comes to brushing your teeth, we have all been through a version of this:
– “Brush your teeth before you go to bed”
– “But Mooommm!”
– “Do it!!”
At the time, it was impressed upon us to avoid gum diseases, have strong healthy teeth, and a great smile. Turns out, there is much more to this than meets the eye.
Science has shown that a surprising variety of diseases are related to the health of your teeth. Although this might come as a shocker at first, it definitely makes sense when you think that your mouth is the entry point of your body.
Here are 5 ways that brushing your teeth can help improve your health in dramatic ways… and make you question if you should kiss your mother with that dirty mouth!
1) Brushing & Flossing can help gut ecology
Microbiome has been a buzz word these last few years with all the research on how your gut bacteria can affect your health. People think of the gut and immediately picture the belly. But the start of your digestive tract is actually where you hide your pearly whites.
Many of the same bacteria found in the gut have a home in your mouth as well. And not just those responsible for bad breathe too. In fact, many gut experts advise different health practices for the mouth to avoid/prevent those bacteria from re-entering your gut during or after a treatment.
This includes, for example, when you are affected by a SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) or during a course of antibiotics.
So if you want a gut microbiome, start by brushing your teeth
2) Brushing & Flossing reduces plaque growth in your blood vessels
In many studies, scientists have studied the content of blood vessel clots. Turns out that Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Prevotella intermedia have been found in many ischemic thrombi of cerebral stroke victims. This is potentially huge, has this is the cause of 87% of brain stokes.
In one of them out of Tampere University in Finland, 84% of patients had bacterial DNA of common streptococci found in the mouth.
Likewise, strokes are a common cause of heart problems as well. In a large percentage of them, atherosclerotic blood vessels have been found to be the cause of them.
“Periodontal disease increases the body’s burden of inflammation,” says periodontist Dr. Hatice Hasturk of the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute.
So it seems that plaque on your mouth is related to plaque in your blood vessels
3) Brushing & Flossing may improve heart health
Endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the tissues around your heart, has been shown to be related to bacteria found in your mouth. So bacteria in your mouth can trigger endocarditis in at-risk population. This is so serious that it prompted the American Heart Association Endocarditis Committee to include course of antibiotics in certain mouth/dental procedures as the recommended standard in 2007.
4) Brushing & Flossing may improve brain health (as well as Alhzeimer’s)
Your brain is a great organ. As such, it is well-protected from a slew of issues. One of the main protection is the blood-brain barrier, which prevents entry of many compounds into the brain. One thing that can easily bypass this system though, are bacteria.
Seeing how the brain is sensitive to suboptimal function when inflamed, it is especially important since many bacteria produce toxins who crank up inflammation.
What’s more, University of Bergen researchers have established a clear link between gingivitis and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain,” says researcher Piotr Mydel at Broegelmanns Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen (UiB)
5) Brushing & Flossing may prevents certain kidney diseases
In yet other studies, glomerulonephritis, a major kidney disease, has been linked to the aforementioned streptococci found in the mouth and throat. Digging deeper, scientists have found a positive correlation with chronic kidney disease conditions and bacteria found in the mouth.
Because of this, dental hygiene and care is now a part of standard recommendations in kidney failure and chronic kidney disease patients
Add to this that dental hygiene is currently under investigation in relation to other conditions such as arthritis and certain cancers, it’s all the more reasons to take good care of your teeth with regular, daily brushing and flossing.
Keep in mind that the mechanical action of flossing matters as well to take out bits of food and plaque stuck between the teeth, so while brushing is a good start, flossing also matters
Don’t skip that nightly ritual, your health risks for many issues will go down dramatically. Plus, your breathe will thank you 😉
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