Every year we are faced with the flu season and believe it or not, a recent review from the Journal of Dental Hygiene reviews how some bacteria in the mouth can add to this problem.
According to this review, many bacteria associated with gum disease can cause an immune suppression effect that increases your susceptibility to the cold and flu. There are two 2 virulent bacteria that do this:
- P. Gingivalis is found in the mouth. It has many ways of suppressing the immune system. This in turn causes changes in the bacterial activity in the mouth which causes an increase in virulent bacteria that are harmful. Thus, it causes not only gum disease but immune system failures.
- S. Pneumonia is a bacterium found in the respiratory tract, sinuses and nasal cavity. When the immune system is down, it invades the air sacs of the lungs and causes pneumonia. While it does this too, it is also associated with gum disease.
Heightened oral care will help to keep these bacteria down. Here are some helpful tips:
- Get regular dental checkups and dental cleanings
- Brush and clean in between teeth regularly
- Wash your hands before flossing to prevent bacteria from entering the mouth
- Replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months, and discard a toothbrush if it was used while suffering from the cold or flu
- Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes after use and allow them to air-dry in an upright position between uses
- Never share toothbrushes
Oral hygiene is a year-round thing and is especially important during the cold and flu season. Now that Premier Smile Center is open and back to providing elective procedures like checkups and cleanings, let us help you stay safe and healthy. Contact us today at our Fort Lauderdale dental office to discuss your concerns and schedule an appointment.