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Fact: Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health

Dentists can tell how healthy you are just by looking in your mouth. For example, periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation of the gums and tissues that support the teeth, has been linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as to preterm births and low birth weight. Periodontal disease may also increase the risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “By seeing your dentist twice a year, he or she can monitor changes in your mouth that may indicate underlying health issues so they can be treated in a timely manner,” says Sahota.

(CREDIT: Echo/Cultura/Getty Images)
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