Both good and bad bacteria exist in the oral cavity. What happens in the mouth is the very beginning of the digestive process, and most people know that bacteria are involved in breaking down our food in that process. However, bad bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, create the conditions that lead to disease if they are not halted.

“Anaerobic” means that those bad bacteria do not like oxygen; therefore, they find places to hide, usually in tartar and plaque collected at the base of the teeth, where they also invade the spaces beneath the gums. When gums succumb to bacterial infection, small fissures occur, which let the bacteria and the accompanying inflammatory response into the blood stream. At this point, the bacteria and inflammatory substances can travel throughout the body to affect other organs and systems as well.

That inflammation can lead to such serious diseases as atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Not many people know the connection between oral health and systemic disease, so consider yourself fortunate to find this information.

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