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Healthy mouth, healthy body: Oral hygiene can guard against other medical problems

from Seacoast Online

The mouth is the gateway to the body, and doctors and dentists are taking a more holistic approach to their patients' overall health. Like many areas of the body, the mouth has bacteria — most of it harmless. Normally, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Severe gum disease, called periodontitis, can actually eat away at the bone structure that holds the teeth in place. more

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