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7 reasons you absolutely cannot afford to neglect your oral health
Keeping your teeth healthy makes all of the difference in the world to the rest of your body. Here are 7 reasons why you cannot afford to neglect your oral health. - photo by Samuel Kwon
It is absolutely essential that you treat your oral health just as you would your overall health.

Many people fail to brush and floss regularly, and more importantly, do not go to their yearly dentist checkups. If this is the case for you, this means you are unaware of the true damage you are doing to your body. There are a number of reasons for neglecting your oral health, but there are even more reasons why you shouldn't.

Understanding why proper oral hygiene is so important to your health will hopefully motivate you to take better care of your teeth and gums. Gum disease has the potential to pop up at any given time.

Here are 7 reasons why you simply cannot afford to neglect your oral health even a second longer:

1. Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

People who have a periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease because of the narrowing of the arteries that causes plaque and bacteria to get into the blood stream through the mouth and gums.

This bacterium contains protein that promotes blood clots which can also clog the arteries while significantly increasing the risk for heart attack. This same bacteria has the ability to clog the artery that delivers blood to the brain which can cause you to have a stroke.

2. Risk of Dementia

Poor oral health and tooth loss increases your risk of suffering from memory loss at an early age.

Studies have shown that poor oral health can lead to a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's disease. If your gums become inflamed due to infection, this can also cause brain inflammation which could cause death of certain brain cells.

3. Respiratory Problems

Bacteria that is caused by periodontal disease has the ability to travel through the bloodstream and to your lungs where it can impact the respiratory system.

If you have already experienced respiratory problems in the past, then you have a greater chance of having further problems due to poor oral hygiene. If you have gum disease this also puts you at higher risk for pneumonia and other respiratory conditions.

4. Risk of Diabetes

95% of the individuals in the United States who have diabetes have also experienced severe periodontal disease that has led to tooth loss. This is because individuals who suffer from diabetes have a higher risk of infections. However, it is a two-way street: diabetes leads to gum disease and gum disease leads to diabetes.

5. Erectile Dysfunction

Men who suffer from periodontal disease are seven times more likely to also experience some sort of erectile dysfunction than men who practice excellent oral hygiene.

The bacteria caused by periodontal disease can travel into the bloodstream which inflames the blood vessels which blocks the flow of blood to the genitals.

6. Premature Birth

Many experts have stated that premature birth is caused by the overall health of the mother and her entire body. If she does not practice good oral hygiene and develops an infection in the mouth, this can travel to the unborn child which can lead to premature birth.

7. Cancer

A number of experts have confirmed that men who have gum disease were almost 50% more likely to develop kidney cancer and 30% were more likely to develop cancers of the blood. This makes it extremely important to see your dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene.

If you are not taking care of your oral health, you could be causing severe damage to your body. Make sure that you get regular checkups from your dentist and continue practicing excellent oral health.