Gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems such as heart disease
According to new research by the British Dental Health Foundation, the condition can also increase the risk of developing asthma.
The research, published in the Journal of Periodontology, examined 220 adults who were divided into two groups: those with asthma, and those without asthma.
When all other risk factors for asthma were ruled out, including body mass index, smoking, and age, those who had gum disease were five times more likely to develop the breathing condition, the organisation said.
Statistics show that rates of asthma in the UK are higher than those in most European countries, and this may be due to poor dental and oral hygiene, the British Dental Health Foundation commented.
In fact, it claims that less than half the British population takes adequate care of their teeth and gums by brushing regularly and using other products for all-round care like mouthwash.
For example, just around a third of people regularly use mouthwash, while less than a quarter use floss. Close to half of all Britons use nothing but a toothbrush and toothpaste, while 27% clean their teeth with an electric brush.
The most important things are:
- Visiting their dentist regularly
- Brushing teeth at least twice a day
- Cleaning between the teeth once per day