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Did you know that poor oral hygiene can affect your lungs? It’s true, having few remaining teeth, increased plaque, and practicing infrequent tooth brushing may be associated with worsening COPD symptoms. What’s more, gum disease related to poor oral health and inadequate dental care may be associated with an increased risk of a number of long-term illnesses, including COPD.
When it comes to defining good oral hygiene it’s best to head straight to the source. Colgate, one of America’s leading toothpaste manufacturers, equates good oral hygiene to a mouth that looks and smells healthy and fresh. This can be further demonstrated as:
Colgate recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day using the following brushing technique:3
Many of us forget to floss, however Colgate recommends flossing at least once a day to decrease your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you’re not sure how to floss correctly, here are a few tips:3
In addition to brushing and flossing, the following steps are recommended to further decrease your risk of dental problems:3
 Liu Z, et. al. “Oral hygiene, periodontal health and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations.” J Clin Periodontol. 2012 Jan;39(1):45-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01808.x. Epub 2011 Oct 24.
 Prasanna, Surya J. “Causal Relationship Between Periodontitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 15.4 (2011): 359–365. PMC. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.
 ‘What is Good Oral Hygiene?” Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. Accessed January 31, 2015.