Keeping your gums healthy not only prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease, but it can also help improve your memory, according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. In a study done by the journal, adults who had gingivitis performed worse than those who didn’t on tests of memory and cognitive skills. They were more likely to perform poorly on tests of delayed verbal recall and subtraction–two skills we use every day!
Diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, which includes infections of the gums. Some experts have linked uncontrolled diabetes with gum disease, suggesting that untreated periodontal disease may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Having a healthy mouth will help you protect your overall health by making it easier to control your diabetes.
Some research suggests a link between gingivitis and pre-term, low birth weight infants. With 1 in 8 babies born prematurely, prevention is the key! Maintaining good oral health may help prevent premature delivery. See your dentist as part of your prenatal care. He or she will give you good tips and insight into oral health and a healthy pregnancy.
It’s never too early to start teaching your children to take care of their teeth and gums–healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. If you’re tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits–brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly — remember that you’re a role model for your kids!