Why you need to brush your teeth today!
Brushing your teeth can save your life. Really, I mean that. I see patients with heart disease and diabetes and other diseases rooted in inflammation. And I wonder sometimes if they are brushing their teeth twice a day. Why? Inflammation of the gums weakens the barriers in place to keep out bacteria. And we now know that some of those bacteria have been implemented in heart disease.
It’s really that simple.
Let me explain: your mouth is the gateway to your body. What you put into your mouth is literally what feeds your body, for better or for worse. Research has demonstrated a connection between gum disease and a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, even after adjusting for common risk factors. The data do not indicate if regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease will specifically decrease the incidence, rate or severity of the narrowing of the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes, but it does show this association. With heart disease the number one cause of death, in fact 1 out of 3 women’s deaths each year (vs 1 out of 31 women’s deaths attributable to breast cancer), I am not taking chances with something so simple as brushing my teeth. And nor should you.
So what to do?
- Brush your teeth twice a day, every day.
- Change your toothbrush on the first day of each season. That’s right, four times a year. I like this date because it’s easy to remember.
- If you get a cold or virus, change out your toothbrush.
- Store your toothbrushes in a clean and dry area. For example, don’t leave them in those cute plastic travel cases or all stuck together in a cup or glass.