Every day, you brush your teeth, floss and use mouthwash to keep your mouth healthy. But did you know that keeping your teeth clean can help prevent inflammation throughout the rest of your body?
Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection. It helps protect us from harm by bringing white blood cells and other substances to the affected area. However, chronic inflammation can cause damage to our bodies over time.
Good dental hygiene reduces inflammation in several ways:
- It prevents gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
- It reduces plaque buildup on teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth when we eat or drink sugary foods and drinks. If not removed with proper brushing twice a day along with flossing once per day, it hardens into tartar (calculus) which has no taste or smell but causes gum disease when left untreated for years on end!
- It reduces the risk of tooth decay (cavities). Cavities occur when sugars in food and drinks react with bacteria living inside your mouth.
Good dental hygiene is essential to reduce inflammation, slow the onset of chronic diseases and ‘inflammaging’.
Chronic low-grade inflammation is an underlying factor that contributes to many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia. It may also be responsible for accelerated ageing. Inflammation occurs when the immune system overreacts to an infection or injury by sending white blood cells and other substances to the area. This process can be triggered by bacteria or viruses, but also by food allergies or toxins in the environment. If inflammation becomes chronic, it damages tissues and organs and can cause pain and swelling.