By Nicole Cantanese of Refinery29
You brush your teeth, do a quick rinse with mouthwash, and floss (pretty much) every day. So, your teeth and your mouth are in tip-top shape, right? Well, hopefully if you were lucky enough to be born with the anti-cavity and never-need-a-root-canal genetic jackpot. But the truth is, doing what you can to ward off cavities and have a bling-y white smile is not (or should not) be your only focus. Your mouth is a straight shot to the rest of your body, and whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening in there could be a red flag forÃ¢â‚¬”or the instigator ofÃ¢â‚¬”some potentially serious health concerns.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is an association between inflammation of the gum tissue and inflammatory processes in other parts of the body,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Gregg Lituchy, a cosmetic dentist at Lowenberg & Lituchy in NYC. And if you think about it, that makes senseÃ¢â‚¬”your mouth is literally a direct link to your insides. So the icky bad breath and post-eating gook that thrive there can easily go, well, everywhere.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bacteria that lives in our saliva can enter the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels in the gum tissue,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Lituchy. Now, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only if your oral health habits are subpar that this can lead to a big time issues and not just a cavity (or two or three). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bacteria in the mouth form colonies and stick to the tooth at the gum line in the form of plaque,Ã¢â‚¬Â explains Lituchy. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If plaque is not removed daily through brushing and flossing, these bacteria can enter the tiny blood vessels in the bleeding gums and travel to other parts of the body.Ã¢â‚¬Â Um, ew.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Click HERE to learn how to protect your health at Refinery29.
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