It becomes increasingly important as a person gets older to maintain a regular and healthy oral hygiene routine because as our bodies age, we become more susceptible to harmful diseases. Oral health must be considered a crucial part of our overall health because recent studies have shown that bacteria in the mouth and other oral diseases may ultimately lead to life-threatening illnesses in other parts of our bodies.
According to the American Dental Association, researchers have found that periodontitis, also known as the advanced form of gum disease, may not only cause tooth loss, but may also be associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Research has also shown that pregnant women who are suffering from periodontitis may be at a much higher risk for delivering premature babies, babies that are low in weight, or both. Now, it is important to note that although research suggests that these diseases are connected, scientists are performing studies to determine whether or not periodontitis is actually a cause for the appearance of these other diseases. Studies are being conducted to determine whether or not periodontitis when treated in persons already suffering from pre-existing health conditions has a cause-and-effect relationship. For example, studies have shown that treating people with periodontal disease who are also suffering from diabetes may actually help to improve their blood sugar control. Although these conclusions are not solidly set in stone, they do show promise for discovering whether or not there truly is a link between periodontitis and systemic health conditions.
So keep on maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen, which includes brushing and flossing every day, because who knows, it may very well save your life.