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Former Surgeon General stresses the importance of dental health
Updated: 8/1/2012 11:15:03 AM

Former Surgeon General stresses the importance of dental health  

If people ignore their dental health, they may be putting themselves at risk for a number of health problems. Recently, CBS News recently spoke to David Satcher, M.D., a former Surgeon General, who said that it's time for there to be an increased focus on the importance of dental care.

"We have tended not to see oral health as a part of overall health and wellbeing," said Satcher, quoted by the news source. "Too often it is viewed as the teeth and the gums and nothing else."

According to the Mayo Clinic, the mouth is filled with bacteria and while most of it is harmless, some of it is not. While daily brushing and flossing can help keep this bacteria in check, if people ignore their dental health the bacteria may cross into the bloodstream and cause health problems.

Satcher told CBS that along with brushing, flossing and making regular trips to the dentist, people who want to improve their dental health should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and quit smoking. 

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