What we put in our mouth is important, but what is actually in our mouth is important too. Excellent oral hygiene allows us to laugh, eat, and speak with confidence.  However, there are some less obvious reasons that good oral hygiene should be a priority for a person’s overall well-being.  For example, diabetes can be harder to manage when a person has gum disease.  Also, gum disease can increase a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke.  Another condition, dry mouth, can result in more cavities in the mouth.  Unfortunately, dry mouth is a side effect of many prescription medications.  Another common factor, stress, can be very unhealthy to one’s overall health, but it can also result in tooth clenching, which can lead to broken or chipped teeth.  Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause people to be approximately eight times more likely to have gum disease.  The human body is an amazing machine, in which all parts work together and are connected!