ANSWER: There are many good reasons to see a dentist and hygienist. Poor hygiene may lead to tooth loss. People with tooth problems from poor hygiene often are less self-confident. The data on vascular disease (including both stroke and heart disease) remain controversial. It is clear that people with poor dental hygiene have higher risk of disease, but it’s not clear whether the gum disease is causing it. I suspect there actually is a higher risk of heart disease in people with periodontal disease, but even if there isn’t, I still recommend regular dental hygiene by a professional.
READERS: The booklet on colon cancer provides useful information on the causes and cures of this common malady. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Roach --No. 505, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.