The Scottish Mail on Sunday

10 REA­SONS TO... GET WONKY TEETH FIXED

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1 STRAIGHT TEETH MEAN HEALTH­IER GUMS

The In­be­tween­ers ac­tor James Buck­ley, 29, re­vealed that he is spend­ing £2,000 on den­tal braces be­cause see­ing ‘buff’ men on so­cial me­dia made him feel in­se­cure. James joked that when he looked in a mir­ror, he saw Austin Pow­ers star­ing back at him. But he could be do­ing his over­all health a favour: the ben­e­fits of fix­ing wonky teeth (med­i­cally known as mal­oc­clu­sions), ex­tend beyond the cos­metic. A 2008 re­view of 98 stud­ies con­cluded that or­thodon­tic treat­ment re­duced the risk of gum dis­ease – which could pre­vent a host of other ill­nesses…

2 CUT HEART DIS­EASE RISK

In 2016, re­searchers at North Carolina School of Den­tistry found that pa­tients with gum dis­ease were twice as likely as oth­ers to die from a heart at­tack. It is be­lieved that oral bac­te­ria trig­ger the re­lease of in­flam­ma­tory mol­e­cules called cy­tokines, which in­ter­fere with the abil­ity of the heart ves­sels to re­lax and con­tract, im­ped­ing healthy blood flow.

3 PRE­VENT STROKES

Adults with gum dis­ease may be twice as likely as peo­ple with healthy gums to suf­fer a stroke, ac­cord­ing to Amer­i­can re­search pub­lished this year. Stroke risk rose with the level of dis­ease.

4 PERK UP YOUR SEX LIFE

Men are three times more likely to de­velop erec­tile dys­func­tion if they are suf­fer­ing from pe­ri­odon­tal dis­ease. This is be­lieved to be a knock-on ef­fect of over­all cir­cu­la­tory prob­lems that are the re­sult of the in­fec­tion.

5 BOOST YOUR MEM­ORY

Pa­tients with gin­givi­tis (swollen, bleed­ing gums) per­formed worse on tests of mem­ory and other cog­ni­tive skills than did those with health­ier gums and mouths, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Jour­nal Of Neu­rol­ogy, Neu­ro­surgery & Psy­chi­a­try.

6 SLOW DOWN ALZHEIMER’S

In a study pub­lished last year, Bri­tish sci­en­tists tracked Alzheimer’s pa­tients over a pe­riod of six months and found that the group with gum dis­ease suf­fered cog­ni­tive de­cline at six times the rate of the group with­out gum dis­ease. It is thought that the body’s re­sponse to gum in­flam­ma­tion may has­ten the brain’s de­cline.

7 IT MIGHT PRO­TECT YOUR JOINTS

Amer­i­can re­searchers ex­am­ined gum fluid of peo­ple with pe­ri­odon­ti­tis and found it con­tained high lev­els of cit­rul­li­nated pro­teins, a type known to trig­ger an im­mune re­sponse in those with rheuma­toid arthri­tis. Vol­un­teers with healthy mouths had min­i­mal cit­rul­li­nated pro­teins in their gum fluid.

8 IT’LL MAKE DI­A­BETES MORE MAN­AGE­ABLE

It has been found that gum dis­ease may make it harder to keep di­a­betes un­der con­trol, as in­fec­tion and in­flam­ma­tion in the oral cav­ity can have an ef­fect on blood sugar.

9 PRO­TECT YOUR LUNGS

Den­tists in the UK pub­lished a study in 2014 out­lin­ing the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing good den­tal health in peo­ple with chronic lung dis­ease. The au­thors noted that, as bac­te­ria around the gums can travel into the lung and cause in­fec­tions, den­tal hy­giene should be a pri­or­ity among suf­fer­ers.

10 TAKE CARE IF YOU’RE PREG­NANT

Hor­monal changes that oc­cur dur­ing preg­nancy can cause women to ex­pe­ri­ence oral health prob­lems, but a link has also been found be­tween oral health, pre­ma­ture birth and low birth weight. One re­cent study sug­gested that preg­nant women at high risk of pre­ma­ture birth who go to a den­tal hy­gien­ist may cut their risk by a third, al­though the rea­son for this is not clear.

 ?? REX ?? BRACE YOUR­SELF: Mike My­ers as Austin Pow­ers
REX BRACE YOUR­SELF: Mike My­ers as Austin Pow­ers

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