Most of us take care of our teeth and gums to protect the appearance of our smile or the comfort of our mouth. But did you know that your dental care efforts are also protecting the rest of your body? There is a significant link between your dental health and overall health. At Riverwood Dental, we love helping patients understand this link, as it can only foster better dental care habits and appreciation for good oral health.
Here are some ways in which dental health can influence your overall well-being:
The mouth serves as a gateway to the body, and the health of your teeth and gums can affect other systems. Poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria to accumulate, leading to gum disease (periodontitis). The same bacteria can enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation in other parts of the body, potentially increasing the risk of conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and complications in pregnancy.
Research suggests that the bacteria associated with gum disease can contribute to the development of cardiovascular problems. The inflammation caused by gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.
Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease. Conversely, gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, leading to complications. Managing good oral hygiene is crucial for patients with diabetes to prevent oral health issues and help control their blood sugar levels.
Poor oral health can potentially contribute to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. The bacteria from infected gums and teeth can be inhaled into the lungs, causing or exacerbating respiratory problems.
Pregnant women with gum disease have been found to have a higher risk of premature birth, low birth weight babies, and preeclampsia. Maintaining good oral health before and during pregnancy is important for both the mother and the baby’s well-being.
Oral health issues like tooth loss, gum disease, or poorly fitting dentures can affect your ability to chew properly, impacting your dietary choices. Difficulty chewing certain foods may lead to a limited diet, potentially affecting your nutrition and overall health.
Quality of Life
Dental problems, such as toothaches, gum pain, or missing teeth, can significantly impact your quality of life. Oral pain, difficulty speaking or eating, and a compromised smile can lead to discomfort, self-consciousness, and reduced self-esteem.
See Your Dentist and Protect Your Body
Maintaining good oral hygiene, like regular brushing and flossing, can go a long way in reducing dental problems and protecting your whole-body health. However, it is important to also visit your dentist every six months for a routine dental check-up. These are the preventative visits you may need to avoid serious dental issues that can potentially impact your heart, lungs, comfort and quality of life. Schedule your dental visit at Riverwood Dental today.