Brushing Teeth and Preventing Meningitis

Brushing Teeth and Preventing MeningitisYour oral health and your overall physical health and inextricably linked. Medical researchers have long known that if you neglect your oral health, your general health will also begin to suffer. For example, oral bacteria have been linked to strokes and heart disease. It is believed that these harmful bacteria can break out into the bloodstream, where they travel to various organs and wreak havoc.

The latest findings in medical research indicate that the Streptococcus tigurinus bacteria found in the mouth can also lead to meningitis. Meningitis is characterized by the swelling of the tissues that surround the brain. In some cases, this condition can be fatal. This bacteria has also been linked with the inflammation of the spine, known as spondylodiscitis, and with endocarditis, which is a variety of heart disease.

While a certain amount of bacteria in the mouth is normal, you should practice good oral hygiene to prevent these dangerous bacteria from flourishing in your mouth. These bacteria combine with white blood cells and food particles to form plaque, which is a sticky, clear film on your teeth. If these bacteria are not washed away by brushing and flossing regularly, they can harden and form tartar. The acids that the bacteria produce not only damage your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay, but they also can cause periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily, as well as visiting our dentist in Northridge for check-ups and cleanings can greatly reduce your risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

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