The mouth-body connection
The mouth is the window to your body's good health. Excellent oral hygiene — brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly — can greatly improve your health and reduce the risk of broader medical problems over time. The research isn't conclusive, but red, swollen and bleeding gums can point to health problems from heart disease to diabetes. What can happen is that bacteria from your mouth can travel to your bloodstream, setting off an inflammatory reaction elsewhere in your body. Certain diseases and medications also may cause mouth problems. Gum disease has been associated with premature birth, teeth grinding with stress, pale gums with anemia, tooth loss with kidney disease and thrush with HIV.
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