Simply Her (Singapore) - - Life Made Easy Health -

Though not 100 per cent proven, there have been stud­ies that sug­gest that gum health may be re­lated to brain health. “It is thought that in­flam­ma­tion of the gums can con­trib­ute to in­flam­ma­tion of the tis­sues of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, caus­ing nerve cells to de­gen­er­ate,” Dr Liew ex­plains.

Most of the stud­ies con­ducted on older adults showed that those with pe­ri­odon­tal dis­ease had slower re­sponse, poorer co­or­di­na­tion and weaker mem­ory, although more re­search is cur­rently be­ing done to un­der­stand this bet­ter.

It’s im­por­tant to know that poor oral health does not cause car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, di­a­betes, re­s­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion and Alzheimer’s dis­ease – get­ting your teeth and gums back on track will not cure you of th­ese health con­di­tions. “But it will re­duce the risk of you de­vel­op­ing or wors­en­ing the con­di­tions of the var­i­ous dis­eases,” says Dr Leo.

Floss and brush twice a day for at least two min­utes, Dr Liew ad­vises. And re­duce the amount of sweet and acidic foods you eat – they can pro­mote tooth de­cay. Don’t put off vis­it­ing your den­tist at least twice a year to de­tect prob­lems be­fore it’s too late. “Poor oral health can lead to gin­givi­tis (gum in­flam­ma­tion) and if left un­treated, can progress to pe­ri­odon­ti­tis (gum in­flam­ma­tion and bone loss),” says Dr Liew. The bac­te­ria and viruses present in your mouth may then cause in­fec­tion, in­flam­ma­tion and even block­age of blood ves­sels and tis­sues in the heart.

“Stud­ies have also shown that an in­di­vid­ual with gum dis­ease has twice the risk of hav­ing a fa­tal heart attack com­pared to an in­di­vid­ual who does not have the dis­ease,” Dr Leo adds.

If you have an ex­ist­ing heart con­di­tion, you might also be at risk of de­vel­op­ing en­do­cardi­tis, an in­fec­tion that causes in­flam­ma­tion of the in­ner lining of your heart. “It oc­curs when bac­te­ria from an­other part of the body, such as the mouth, spreads through the blood­stream and clings to the dam­aged ar­eas of the heart,” she ex­plains. The bac­te­ria can get into your blood­stream when you chew your food, brush your teeth or floss.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.