We’re constantly begging you to brush, floss, and maintain a tooth-friendly diet. While some patients are happy to engage with their oral health, others find the frequent cleaning and low-sugar considerations frustrating. Just why are your teeth so important? Why do they demand such deliberate care?
Your oral health isn’t just about a beautiful smile. In fact, your mouth is connected to other parts of your body in ways you might not expect. This leads to larger-scale health implications and potential complications. Keeping your teeth and gums disease-free and strong will counter these problems before they can take hold. Read on to learn more about the role your oral health plays in whole-body health, and steps you can take to preserve your dental well-being.
How Does Dental Health Play a Role in Whole-Body Health?
The research behind oral health’s connection to your systemic health is ongoing, and hasn’t resulted in any definitive statements. But that research suggests links between periodontal health and larger-scale health concerns. When you have gum disease, your gums become inflamed and and irritated from the presence of bacteria in the mouth. These factors make it possible for other problems to become aggravated. While the exact cause of the health connections is uncertain, there are a few theories: inflamed gums may trigger inflammation in the other parts of the body; bacteria may enter the bloodstream from the mouth and travel to other parts of the body.
The end result is a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. Disease triggers work the other way, as well: when certain changes are taking place in your body, gingivitis is more likely to take hold. Patients with diabetes or fluctuating hormone levels (women who are pregnant or in menopause) are susceptible to gum disease.
Oral health affects your emotional well-being in a similar way. When you have a beautiful smile, you’re excited to share it with the world. But when your teeth are lacking in some way, you don’t feel as good about yourself or as willing to be friendly and outgoing. Missing teeth can actually be associated with depression. Missing out on the daily ease of use that your teeth should offer will make you feel uncomfortable and frustrated. By hiding your teeth behind your hands when smiling or laughing, you feel more anxious and cut off from others.
Daily Ways to Protect and Strengthen Your Oral Health
Take full advantage of your smile by keeping it in great shape. By engaging in consistent, careful oral hygiene, you’ll keep gum disease, cavities, and other problems at bay, and build a beautiful smile in the process.
- Brush and floss consistently and carefully, making sure not to irritate your gums.
- Clean your teeth or rinse with water after eating to wash away food remnants that could give rise to acids and erode your enamel.
- Evaluate whether you may need a night guard – if you think you might be grinding your teeth at night, it’s important to protect your enamel.
- Eat a healthy diet, making sure to get varied nutrients, lean protein, fresh vegetables, and dairy.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash to help rebuild enamel.
- If something seems off about your teeth or your gums, schedule an appointment right away. Let’s catch the problem before it wreaks havoc on your mouth. Preventive care is the best possible course of action.
Ready to Book Your Next Dental Exam?
Looking for a general dentist? We would love to provide your care and help preserve your oral health. Get in touch to schedule your next exam.