It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, so naturally we're looking into the connection between oral health and this devastating illness. According to the latest research, postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than those with healthy gums.
Nearly half of Americans age 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, and it's been linked to several medical problems like diabetes, dementia and stroke. Women are particularly at risk for periodontal disease because hormonal changes in the body can make gums more sensitive and more susceptible to inflammation.
Because this oral health condition can be painless, you may not even know you have it. Here are some signs and symptoms that can indicate a problem:
- gums that bleed easily
- red, swollen, tender gums
- persistent bad breath or bad taste
- gums are pulling away from the teeth
- teeth that are loose or separating
- any change in the way your teeth fit together
Fortunately, you can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good dental hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly. Flossing twice a day, using proper teeth brushing techniques and rinsing after meals will help keep harmful bacteria out of our mouth, and out of your body. The earlier you catch any gum issues, the more likely you will successfully treat or reverse the disease.
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