How well you take care of your teeth and gums can affect your risk for serious diseases.
Those pearly whites don’t just reveal your brushing habits—they can also be a window into the health of the rest of your body:
- In a University of New York at Buffalo study, subjects who had the most bacteria in their mouths had the highest risk of heart attack.
- People with severe gum disease are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke as people with healthy gums.
- Some studies suggest that people with periodontal disease have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The good news? Early stage gum disease can be reversed in about 7 days with simple brushing and flossing. Symptoms include gums that bleed when you brush, sore or tender gums and bad breath. If your mouth fits this description, see your dentist, who may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease.