Writes FoodConsumer.org in a recent article, "Brushing your gums and breathing easier:"
A new study in the Journal of Periodontology says good gums are good for your respiratory system.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and/or bone that surround and support the teeth.
It is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.
In this new study, researchers recruited 200 participants between the ages of 20 and 60 years old.
Half of the participants had at some point suffered from respiratory diseases such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis.
The other half never had respiratory problem.
The results showed the participants with a history of respiratory disease had worse periodontal health than the healthy subjects, indicating a possible relationship between respiratory disease and periodontal health.
"Pulmonary diseases can be severely disabling and debilitating," says Donald S. Clem, President of the American Academy of Periodontology.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.
COPD is now one of leading causes of death in the U.S
"By working with your dentist or periodontist, you may actually be able to prevent or diminish the progression of harmful diseases such as pneumonia or COPD," Donald S. Clem suggested. "Taking good care of your periodontal health involves daily tooth brushing and flossing. You should also expect to get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year."
Scientists have found gum disease is relative to chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Stephen Lau and editing by Aimee Keenan-Greene