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Your smile tells how your health is going

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Your smile tells how your health is going

It is estimated that 19 million Italians are forced to deal with teeth worn out over time also due to poor oral hygiene. Yet, taking care of your teeth is a way to improve your overall health and make an early diagnosis.

There are many studies. A team from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, published on Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, research showing the link between dental health and brain aging. Gum disease and tooth loss have been found to be linked to a reduction in the brain area of ​​the hippocampus which plays a role in memory and the incidence of Alzheimer’s.

And other studies indicate that oral health is directly linked to other pathologies as well.
Therefore, the mouth can become a litmus test to alert us to symptoms of still silent pathologies and become an “alarm bell” for early diagnosis and treatment.

Take care of your teeth even when you are elderly: it is good for the brain and makes you appear younger by Irma D’Aria 19 July 2023

The mouth and systemic diseases

“The objective examination of the oral cavity – he explains Rodolfo Gianserra, vice-president of the Italian Society of Periodontology and Implantology (Sidp) – is of fundamental importance, because it highlights alterations that may represent the expression not only of local odontostomatological pathologies, but of systemic diseases. By inspecting the mouth, various forms of masses or ulcerations can be observed, signs of oral carcinomas, as well as spontaneous hemorrhages that can result from thrombocytopenia, but also systemic diseases such as diabetes and renal failure.”

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Beware of periodontitis

In particular, periodontitis should not be overlooked, to which 57 systemic pathologies have been linked. It is the sixth most widespread disease and affects up to 50% of the world‘s population, with 3 million Italians affected by the most serious forms, who run an imminent risk of losing their teeth.
Furthermore, periodontitis is linked to arterial hypertension which is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, so much so that SIDP, together with the Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension, has drawn up guidelines: “Severe periodontitis stages 3 and 4 – continues Gianserra – can underlie other pathologies such as the atherosclerotic process and therefore coronary and cerebral vascular diseases. Furthermore, it represents the sixth complication of diabetes and in turn the presence of diabetes increases the risk of progression of periodontitis of the ‘86%.

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The diabetes-periodontitis relationship is binary and, in fact, periodontitis increases the risk of becoming diabetic by 3.5 times. Periodontal patients have worse glycemic control and periodontitis therapy positively affects the metabolic control of diabetes.”

Oral health even more important during pregnancy

Even during pregnancy, oral health should not be neglected, because the increase in hormone levels can influence the way in which the body reacts to dental plaque and this can lead to swollen and bleeding gums (gingivitis) and periodontitis itself. “Furthermore, associations have been demonstrated between periodontal diseases and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a pregnant woman with poor gum health may have a greater risk of suffering from premature birth and giving birth to an underweight baby. For this reason – underlines the vice-president of the Sidp – it is advisable to have an oral hygiene session or if necessary a periodontal treatment before conception”.

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The smile reveals our health: why take periodontitis seriously by Irma D’Aria 12 October 2023

The allies of the smile

Therefore, for everyone, oral health should not be neglected: it is good to keep plaque under control both by cleaning your teeth regularly and by going to the dentist a couple of times a year. Lifestyles are fundamental. But what are the foods that help you smile?
“Citrus fruits and kiwis, rich in vitamin C, which acts on inflammation and reduces gum bleeding; fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and trout, but also dairy products and the liver of some animals, because foods rich in vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and correct salivation”, he replies Robert Gemmitidental hygienist of the Italian Society of Periodontology and Implantology.

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“Foods that contain group B vitamins, present in large quantities in fish, are also needed because they prevent sensitivity of the oral mucosa and lip ulcerations, and those rich in vitamin A, present in eggs and orange fruit, because it promotes bone remodeling and healing of inflamed gum tissues.”

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