I don’t have to tell you how important it is to brush your teeth. It’s something that was likely drilled into your childhood brain by your mom, dentist, and that catchy toothbrushing song from kindergarten and has taken hold in your adult life. But while we’ve always been taught that proper oral hygiene is a necessity for keeping your pearly whites glistening, avoiding cavities, and not scaring away friends and loved ones with bad breath, there’s another reason why you need to be brushing your teeth on the reg: The sake of your gums.

I know, I know—it isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but it is an important one. The American Dental Association  recommends giving your mouth a good scrub down with a toothbrush and floss twice a day to keep your teeth clean, which will help you avoid the buildup of plaque and tartar. These “wool sweaters” are packed with bacteria, which can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, which can lead to more serious gum issues ranging from mild to severe periodontitis. And in case painful, swollen gums (and the potential of loose teeth) wasn’t enough to cause you concern,  periodontal diseases have been linked to more serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

For the full story, visit WellandGood.com.


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