First For Women - - Health -

! Den­tal plaque har­bors more than 500 types of bac­te­ria that can break down gum tis­sue and sneak into the blood­stream, says pe­ri­odon­tist and oral-health re­searcher Ter­rence J. Grif­fin, D.M.D. Once in the blood, bad bugs trig­ger in­flam­ma­tion that leads to a host of health is­sues, in­clud­ing fa­tigue, brain fog, joint pain and acid re­flux, as well as an in­creased risk of stroke and di­a­betes.

! 75 per­cent of adults have some type of gum dis­ease, but many don’t have red flags like bleed­ing or pain—and most go un­di­ag­nosed since doc­tors of­ten fail to con­nect gum dis­ease with symp­toms like fa­tigue.

✓ Women over 40 are most at risk due to flag­ging es­tro­gen, which pro­tects against in­flam­ma­tion. An­other cul­prit: ag­gres­sive tooth brush­ing, which dam­ages gums to raise in­fec­tion risk.

Ask your den­tist to check for gum re­ces­sion yearly by mea­sur­ing the depth of the pock­ets be­tween your gums and teeth—deeper pock­ets mean more room for bad bac­te­ria to grow and en­ter the blood­stream.

Vi­ta­min C helps pre­vent—and heal— gin­givi­tis. Re­search shows women with low C lev­els are 50 per­cent more likely to have gum dis­ease. The link? Vi­ta­min C for­ti­fies gums by help­ing the body make tis­sue-strength­en­ing col­la­gen. Plus, C boosts im­mune func­tion so the body fights in­fec­tions faster.

Top sources: broc­coli (81 mg per cup) and bell pep­pers (341 mg per pep­per). Or sup­ple­ment with the study-proven dose of 100 mg daily.

The pro­bi­otic Strep­to­coc­cus sali­var­ius M18 cuts plaque by 44 per­cent and gin­givi­tis in­flam­ma­tion by 42 per­cent in 30 days. Get it in Flo­ras­sist Oral Hy­giene ($15 for 30 lozenges,

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