Most people brush and floss on a regular basis because they want to have a nice smile and fresh breath. Some of them do it because they don't want to go to the dentist so often. And only a few of them have their general health in mind.
All aforementioned reasons to take care of your oral hygiene are perfectly fine. There’s nothing bad about taking good care of your teeth and gums. However, being aware of the effect that oral health has on our bodies should be the strongest motivator. Proper dental health is much more than fresh breath and white teeth.
If you want to understand the link between dental hygiene and overall health, here are the four biggest reasons why oral health is essential to our overall health.
Even those who pay special attention to their oral health, every now and then notice blood when brushing their teeth. This is one of the most common signs of gingivitis - known as inflamed gums. Most of the early stage gum infections go away quickly, as soon as we boost the immune system and start using toothpaste specially designed for treating gingivitis. However, a chronic inflammation (periodontitis) needs to be taken very seriously as the research shows a link between gingivitis and several other diseases, none of them taken lightly.
Know that periodontal disease carries an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. It has been also linked to other serious diseases such as chronic kidney disease and cancer. If you notice that your gums are bleeding, red, swollen and sore, it’s time to see a periodontist. Gum infections are usually caused by plaque and poor oral hygiene. This is why you should floss and brush on a regular basis, and schedule a deep cleaning appointment.
Streptococcus mutans sounds scary, but it’s a common bacteria found in our mouth. This bacteria is known to cause cavities, but it can also affect your heart. Scientists have discovered that Streptococcus mutans invades heart tissue, causing endocarditis in some cases. It’s not a 100 percent chance that it’ll cause it, but since this infection is lethal, it’s worth worrying about.
You might think that regular brushing and flossing remove bacteria from your mouth, but things are not that simple. These bacteria travel to the heart via the bloodstream, thanks to dental procedures and aggressive flossing of sensitive gums. The best possible prevention is regular brushing, gentle flossing, and the use of antibacterial mouthwash. Of course, leading a healthy lifestyle and boosting the immune system helps a lot.
Oral cancer is a disease that includes the cancers of the tongue tissue, cheeks, palate, sinuses and throat. It’s a lethal condition if not diagnosed early and treated properly. Some of the ways to prevent it are ditching cigarettes and alcohol, and staying away from the harmful UV exposure. Also, visiting a dentist might be your best call as dentists are capable of diagnosing oral cancer at early stages, before the appearance of the symptoms.
During oral cancer screening, dentists always check your soft mouth tissue as well, looking for unusual changes. Screening is a part of regular dental checkups. This is why you need to have in mind that regular dental checkups are life savers, in the literal sense of a word. If you’re located in Gold Coast and Brisbane, call us at MGA Dental and book a full dental checkup appointment.
A link between a healthy mouth and good diet goes both ways. All issues that come from poor dental care, such as gum infections, cavities and tooth loss affect your ability to feed yourself properly. When we experience dental pain, food is the last thing on our mind, let alone healthy and balanced diet, full of nutrients.
On the other hand, the things you eat affect the general health and oral health as well. Simple carbs, soft drinks and snacks poor in nutrients certainly won’t help your health, or the cavities you have. The solution is simple: eat “healthy” sugars and brush twice a day. A little trick: when you brush shortly after dinner, you’re telling your brain that you finished eating for the day, so it’ll be easier to resist all those midnight snacks.