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Beyond tooth decay: why good dental hygiene is important

September 24, 2016

close-up-of-mouthMost of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath – but not brushing your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illnesses. In this spotlight feature we peer beneath the plaque to investigate what other – perhaps unexpected – health conditions are affected by poor dental health.

Alzheimer’s disease

In 2010, researchers from New York University (NYU) concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, after reviewing 20 years of data on the association.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommend that we should brush for 2 minutes, twice daily.

However, the number of participants in the NYU study was fairly small. The researchers analyzed data from 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study – a study looking at psychological, medical and oral health in Danish men and women. The study spanned a 20-year period and ended in 1984, when the subjects were all over the age of 70. Comparing cognit

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