Many people don’t understand just how important our oral health is to our overall health. Preventative dental care is about more than clean white teeth, fresh breath and cavity prevention. Dentists’ area of expertise goes beyond just teeth and gums. Dentists are trained to recognize any abnormalities or warning signs in your:
- Head, neck and jaw muscles
- Salivary glands
- Nervous system of the head and neck
Additionally, dentists can detect symptoms of diseases that manifest in the mouth but affect your whole body.
How oral health is linked to overall health
Research has shown correlations between poor oral health and numerous diseases, including:
- Heart disease: Medical studies have shown that oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause your arteries to harden and thicken, obstructing blood flow and setting the stage for a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, the bacteria can cause inflammation or infection of the heart.
- Respiratory infections: Bacteria from gum disease can enter your lungs, which may lead to infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Diabetic complications: Some studies have established a connection between gum disease and insulin resistance indicating that poor oral health can create challenges in managing blood sugar levels.
As a result of these and other mouth-body correlations, the American Dental Association reports that the “World Health Organization has integrated oral health into its chronic disease prevention efforts.”
Practicing good oral health
Having good oral hygiene is vital to your overall quality of life. Your oral health impacts your employ ability, social life, self-esteem and, as pointed out above, your health.Now, let’s talk about what having good oral health means.
- See a dentist regularly for cleanings and exams: Your dentist can perform a much deeper and more thorough cleaning than you can.
- Brush twice a day for two minutes each time: Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth and tongue.
- Floss daily: Plaque and food debris like to hideout between teeth, so be sure to floss between every tooth. If you can’t or won’t floss, clean between your teeth carefully. Ask your dental hygienist for tips.
- Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products: Kick these known cancer-causing products to the curb.
- Eat a well-balanced diet: Limit intake of sugars and acidy drinks/foods as they can contribute to tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water when you choose to indulge in any of these items.
Importance of dental coverage
If you don’t have dental insurance, get it. You’ll be more likely to go to the dentist if you have dental coverage.
Importance of oral health
It’s time we start viewing oral health differently and realizing the impact it has on our general wellbeing. If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last six months, schedule a dental checkup. Also, make sure you put the dental care tips we talked about above into practice now. A little preventative care can go a long way.
Call or email us for a dental quote today!