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Q: Does Men’s Health Month include oral health?

Posted June 18, 2014 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Every year in June, an event called Men’s Health Month occurs. The event’s purpose is to spread awareness among men and boys on ways to prevent health problems. Surprisingly enough, certain systemic health conditions may be linked to oral health. These conditions range from hypertension, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and some forms of cancer. To spread awareness on men’s oral health, Dr. Peddicord encourages the male community to consider oral disease prevention.

• Oral diseases. The two most common oral diseases are tooth decay and gum disease. Both conditions are a derivative of harbored oral bacteria. The microorganisms that cause these infectious diseases require a damp, dark environment, sugar and starches and the absence of oxygen to thrive. Your preventive oral hygiene habits and ongoing diet choices directly affect your oral health.

• The oral-systemic link. Like the rest of your body, your mouth accommodates bacteria. Under certain circumstances the bacteria can cause infection and your oral health can deteriorate. Once infection occurs, the resulting inflammation and microorganisms have access to the bloodstream. This inflammation is seen in various systemic conditions. It is important to keep your mouth healthy not only to prevent oral health problems, but also to improve your overall health. Prevent disease and maintain your oral health by visiting Dr. Peddicord today.

Information provided by Dr. Erika Peddicord, Peddicord Family Dentistry, 121 N.E. 18th St., Suite C, 963-3339.

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