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Studies Find Healthy Gums Lead to Numerous Health Benefits

June 10, 2013

More than helping people retain their teeth, maintaining healthy gums leads to a number of overall health benefits, according to an article on WebMD.com. For example, some studies show a link between cardiovascular problems and chronic inflammation of the gums.

Healthy gums may also play a role in memory. A report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry found that adults with gingivitis, which is marked by swollen, bleeding gums, scored worse on tests measuring memory and other cognitive functioning.

People with good oral health may also benefit from a reduced risk of infection and inflammation. Gum disease has been associated with arthritis, for example.

Finally, maintaining good oral health helps keep blood-sugar levels stable in people with diabetes. One of the side effects of diabetes is a reduced ability to fight infection, including infections of the gums. Such infections make it more difficult to maintain proper blood-sugar levels.

About the author: A Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Adam K. Smith maintains a private practice with locations in Manhattan and the Bronx.

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