Do you wish you had Julia Roberts' classic smile or Jessica Alba's sexy beam? Find out why wanting a celebrity smile may be in your overall health's best interest!

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According to Colgate.com, good oral health is essential to good general health. Recent studies have linked gum disease to a variety of health problems that affect women, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and pregnancy outcomes.

Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, it can enter the bloodstream and target these health problems at a faster speed:

Heart Disease: People with gum disease have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack. Heart disease is also the number one killer of American women.

Diabetes: Gum disease is a risk factor for diabetes, even in otherwise healthy individuals.

Respiratory Problems: Bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can travel to the lungs, causing respiratory diseases, including pneumonia.

Pregnancy Outcomes: Pregnant women who have gum disease can be more likely to have a premature baby and may experience increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor.

Women also have special oral health requirements during their unique phases in life. Changes in female hormone levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause exaggerate the way gums react to plaque. So at these times, women need to be especially thorough when brushing and flossing every day in order to prevent gum disease.

Because gum disease is usually painless, many women may not even realize they have it until it reaches an advanced state. Your best defense is to brush and floss daily and see your dentist regularly.

Stay tuned all month long and for expert tips and advice on how you can make your health a top priority! And visit Walgreens for all your women's wellness needs!

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