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Poor dental health linked to major medical problems
Updated: 4/5/2010 5:00:35 PM

Poor dental health linked to major medical problems Several recently published medical studies have identified a strong link between a person's dental health and their overall physical wellbeing.

Over the last few years, researchers have recognized the link between inferior oral health and many debilitating diseases and disorders, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory problems, the Vancouver Sun reports.

"The research that has been done over the last few years is showing more and more that there is a considerable link between what's happening in the mouth and the overall health of the body," said Cindy Fletcher, executive director of the British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association.

"Previously, we thought that the most devastating effects of periodontal disease were that people might lose their teeth," she added. "Now we know it is much more than that."

Canadian investigators have also found a direct correlation between dental health and heart health. Oral bacterium related to periodontal disease often makes patients more prone to cardiovascular problems, especially following heart surgery.

Moreover, researchers have recently found that pregnant women suffering from periodontal disease are more than six times as likely to deliver low-birth weight babies.

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