We all know that poor oral care can lead to cavities, did you know that other, more serious health problems can also be a consequence?
If you don’t take good care of your teeth, you could face much more severe results than a simple toothache or some discoloration.
According to the Mayo Clinic, like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria. The majority of this bacteria is harmless, but your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease. Usually, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care keep bacteria under control. However, without proper dental hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to infections.
Your oral health can impact your overall health and contribute to various diseases and conditions. Keep reading to find out more.
If you have gum disease that is more moderate to advanced, evidence now shows that there’s an increase in your risk for heart disease and stroke.
The bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart and cause the arteries to harden. When this plaque buildup, it can reduce blood flow and can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
By reducing the body’s resistance to infection, diabetes puts gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes, making proper dental care imperative for those with this disease.
Premature births and babies with low birth weights have been linked to gum disease. Research shows that bacteria that attack your gums can also aim for a fetus, leading to complications that trigger premature birth or lower birth weight.
Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. While the connection here isn’t yet fully understood, there is concern that bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels or the bloodstream.
Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
How you can protect your oral health.
Good oral health is essential for many reasons. You must practice consistent oral hygiene daily. To do that you must do the following:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Floss daily.
- Schedule regular check-ups and cleanings.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet with limited sugar.
- Avoid tobacco use.
Practicing proper dental care is important in many ways you might not have thought of before. Encourage your family to practice good oral hygiene by setting a good example and ensuring they have all the tools for a successful oral care plan.
While these may seem like minor modifications, by adopting each of them into your life, you can make a big difference in your overall health.
If you feel like you need more help getting your dental health in order, contact us at the Wilmington Smile Design Center today!