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You may know that you should brush your teeth if you’re interested in protecting the health of your teeth, but did you know that brushing and flossing could also help your overall health? If you don’t care for the health of your teeth, plaque and bacteria may enter your bloodstream and cause long-term damage. Even major organs such as your heart, brain, and lungs can be affected by bad bacteria in your mouth.

While you probably know that plaque can lead to gum disease, would you be surprised to hear that the plaque could also spread to your arteries? While plaque can harden inside your mouth, did you know that it can harden inside your arteries as well? Once this happens, your heart will have to work much harder to spread blood throughout your body—which may make you more likely to have a variety of diseases.

Unfortunately, bacteria from plaque have also been found in the brain. Some claim that this can actually lead to serious cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. In fact, it has been noted that gum disease can actually make this cognitive disease worse.

Finally, upper respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and the common cold, are much more common in individuals with lackluster oral health. Many dentists believe that this issue is a result of this bad bacteria entering the lungs simply from breathing.

Fortunately, you can prevent a number of issues simply by brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentists, Drs. McConnell and Woolf, once every six months. We’ll be happy to examine your mouth and offer you any advice you need. To learn more, please feel free to contact Langworthy Family Dentistry at 919-762-3239. We’re eager to hear from you!