We all know that prevention is one of the keys to maintaining overall health.

Stethoscope

We exercise and watch what we eat to help reduce our risk of heart attack, stroke and certain cancers. In much the same way, we should take good care of our oral (dental) health now to prevent gum disease and tooth loss later.

Why is this so important? The reasons are much more than cosmetic. While we once believed the worst outcome of gum disease was tooth loss, we now know that oral health matters from head to toe.

Like smoking, elevated cholesterol or obesity, periodontal (gum and bone) disease may be a risk factor for a number of serious health conditions. In recent studies, gum disease has been linked to:

How is this possible? For those with gum disease, the simple act of brushing the teeth or chewing can injure gum tissue, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream. It is believed that these bacteria may travel to other parts of the body, potentially worsening or causing other types of health problems.