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Happy Smiles Lead to Healthy Bodies

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There are some clear health concerns related to your dental health, such as cavities, misaligned teeth, gingivitis and severe sensitivity. What you might not know, however, is that your teeth and overall dental hygiene play an integral part in your body's health. By neglecting the care of your teeth, you might be making yourself more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and even breast cancer.

Here's a deeper look at some of the illnesses you can avoid by having strong, healthy teeth:

Diabetes
When you consume too much sugar, your body can react negatively to high glucose levels, and cavities aren't the only scary side effect. Whether you have it already or are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the best way to keep your body safe and protected is by monitoring your sugar intake. According to research from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, people who have higher levels of periodontal disease often have twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, in contrast to those with no gum infections.

Heart disease
While it may seem like a strange link, heart disease and oral health are closely connected. The bacteria that lives in your mouth can enter your bloodstream during processes like chewing and toothbrushing. The germs can then make their way to arteries in the heart and other crucial areas of the body, according to the Harvard Medical School. Additionally, when something becomes inflamed, it often triggers other regions of the body to experience the same negative side effects, so swelling in the mouth could be detrimental to your arteries, and even lead to serious instances of stroke or heart attack, according to the Harvard Heart Letter, the school's official healthcare newsletter.

Respiratory infections
A study from the Journal of Periodontology demonstrates that even your lungs benefit from a healthy and strong smile. Patients who participated in the poll who were suffering from a respiratory illness had worse periodontal issues than those with properly functioning lungs. Much of the bacteria from these diseases form in the throat, which can travel down through the respiratory tract and ultimately lead to serious breathing problems. Want to avoid this from happening? Keep up your healthy dental habits and you'll be taking the right precautions to prevent these illnesses.

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