Flossing may do more than clean your teeth

April 14, 2010 8:29:15 PM PDT
Here's something you might not have heard before. Remembering to floss might help you remember lots of other things.

Flossing not only protects your teeth, it might also protect your memory, according to researchers.

Researchers say they're just beginning to understand why this happens.

"Researchers looked at a group of men and women over age 60 and what they found was that those who scored lowest on tests of math and memory had been exposed to greater amounts of bacteria that are known to cause gum disease. And in fact the mistakes they made were similar to those that people who had early Alzheimer's disease made," said Jenny Cook, executive editor of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Experts say to prevent memory loss as you age, flossing may be as important as is taking your blood pressure medication.

Gum disease triggers inflammation in the body and inflammation is linked to stiffening of the blood vessels.

Scientists have found that stiffened blood vessels are linked to a risk of greater memory problems.

Experts suggest brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist keep your smile bright and your memory sharp.


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