In recent years, the link between overall wellness and oral health has become a hot topic. A new Swedish study seems to corroborate this correlation. Carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, this research looked at over 3000 patients. The study found that of the 41 who developed breast cancer, the individuals with gum disease and tooth loss were 11 times more likely to receive a breast cancer diagnosis.
While this study is the first one to present such findings, it does highlight the importance of caring for your teeth and gums. If you don’t treat gum disease, you can experience bone degeneration, pain, and even tooth loss. Individuals with gum disease are also at an increased risk for developing serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes complications, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.
Caused by the bacteria in plaque, gum disease usually begins with benign symptoms such as bleeding or inflamed gums, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. As the disease progresses, the bone that anchors teeth into the jaw weakens, causing teeth to loosen and possible fall out. In fact, gum disease causes more tooth loss than tooth decay.
To protect your teeth and gums, follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to remove plaque and debris from between teeth
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- See you dentist for a regular checkup every six months
- If you experience symptoms of gum disease, contact your dentist immediately