If you’re still looking for a reason why you should brush and floss your teeth twice a day, a new study suggests that people with poor oral hygiene are more susceptible to cancers of the mouth and throat. Many oral cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that individuals who did not take care of their teeth and gums were more likely to have the infection than those who did.

Oral Health & Prevention

The findings, which were published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, were based on the responses of over 3,400 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey asked them to rate their overall oral health, whether they had periodontal disease, if they used mouthwash regularly to treat dental issues and how many teeth they had lost.

“This is just another really good reason to take good care of your teeth and your mouth,” said Dr. Christine Markham, one of the study’s authors, in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Our findings show that even when you control for known risk factors for oral HPV infection […] poor oral health is an independent risk factor for oral HPV infection.”

For individuals with orthodontic braces, it is essential that you keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing with braces can be difficult, but your New York City orthodontist is always available to provide you with tips and suggestions to make the process easier.

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