Smile big, and smile proud. Take care of your mouth, for it may be the first step in achieving great overall medicinal health. There have been many connections made by experts between your mouth’s soft tissue (gums and tongue) and the diseases which are predictors and potential identifiers of medical conditions. 

As many of us have already failed our new year’s resolutions, let’s not fail our bodies too. I propose a challenge for all. We should all obtain at least two professional dental cleaning appointments per year, and pair that with the proper home care of your mouth. For optimal oral health, dentists recommend brushing gently for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

There have been correlations between the condition of your oral hygiene and medicinal conditions such as an increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The destruction of connective tissues in both periodontal (gum) disease and RA is similar. Another concern is that the habitual inflammation in the gums from periodontal disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems. Heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, strokes, and other serious health problems have been seen in correlation with periodontal disease. While experts do stop short of saying that there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and heart conditions, the new-found knowledge contained in these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health. So why not take reasonable dental preventative measures?