We all know that brushing our teeth prevents cavities and gum disease, but did you know that your daily cleaning ritual could help prevent some serious conditions?
Surprisingly, more than 30 per cent of Australians admit they only brush their teeth once daily, with most skipping the pre-bed brush. Many admit to avoiding flossing altogether.
Here are three compelling reasons to keep on brushing, night and day.
You’re brushing your arteries too
A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 suggested that deep-cleaning teeth and gums under local anaesthetic resulted in healthier, more elastic arteries six months later. Meanwhile, the American Heart Association says that periodontal disease, where the gums pull away from the teeth, is associated with atherosclerosis, a condition in which arteries become clogged up by fatty substances.
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Francesco D’Aiuto, senior lecturer at the Eastman Dental Institute in London says people “should not underestimate what the body senses when the mouth is neglected”. When plaque builds up on teeth, or becomes trapped in the gaps around your teeth, bacteria and inflammatory chemicals released by immune cells in the gums can enter the bloodstream, triggering a range of responses in organs. Chronic inflammation can damage cells at a DNA level, and is linked to a growing range of diseases, including cancer. Brushing your teeth regularly (at least twice a day) prevents gum disease and removes the plaque that bacteria loves to live in.