The benefits of taking good care of your teeth and gums relate to your overall health.
Good oral hygiene goes beyond maintaining fresh breath and white teeth. Failing to take proper care of them can have an adverse effect on your health, as gum disease and tooth decay have been linked to heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions.
New research, published in the Journal of Oral Diseases, found that bacteria living in the mouth can also have a negative effect on irritable bowel disease (IBD) or colitis. During their study, authors from Osaka University also noted that streptococcal bacteria entered the bloodstream, adding further evidence that poor oral hygiene is linked to cardiovascular conditions.
The risk of bacteria reaching other parts of the body increases if people have undergone invasive dental treatment, such as root canal work and tooth extraction, researchers found.
The exact mechanism in which oral bacteria aggravates IBD is not known, but the study clearly showed the connection between virulent oral bacteria and inflammatory bowel diseases.
In the UK, about 120,000 people are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and a further 90,000 have another type of inflammatory bowel disease – Crohn’s disease.
In order to reduce the chances of bacteria developing in your oral cavity and spreading to other parts of your body:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time.
- Pay regular visits to your dentist – contact us for a consultation.