Our oral health plays an essential role in the quality of our lives. It is linked to other parts of our body, but unfortunately, some of us take it for granted. Regardless of your age, you might want to start thinking about taking care of your oral health before it’s too late.
Every patient must visit their dentist regularly to know if they have cavities, plaque, and early onset of dental conditions. It’s a common misconception that patients only need to see their dentist when they are in pain. Some people are not even aware that regular dental visits are crucial to good oral health.
Are teeth considered as a health indicator?
Did you know that your mouth is a window into your overall health?
Any distinct changes in your mouth can reveal nutritional deficiencies and signs of infections. Certain systemic conditions can first manifest through oral problems like mouth lesions and determined through oral swab tests and checkups.
Oral Health Diseases
Several ailments can be the cause of some oral symptoms and diseases that may go unnoticed if you don’t visit your dentist regularly. Severe gum infections like periodontal gum disease is a serious oral condition that may serve as a cause or effect of other underlying medical conditions in a patient. Oral infections are associated with serious health conditions such as:
- Poorly controlled diabetes
If you are suffering from diabetes, you are likely to develop gum diseases as well. Your saliva will have a high concentration of glucose, which then results in plaque and the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.Consequently, the immune system of diabetic patients is not strong enough to fight off a severe gum infection. That is why gum diseases are more serious and take longer to heal when you have diabetes.
- Cardiovascular diseases
Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease that can also play a role in the development of blood clots and clogged arteries. The disease-causing bacteria in the oral cavities can cause inflammation throughout the body, which increases your risk of stroke or heart attack.
Not only does gum disease increase your risk for a heart attack but also heart conditions. When the disease-causing bacteria spread through your bloodstream, it can lead to heart infection or endocarditis. Endocarditis is the inflammation of your heart’s endocardium or inner lining due to bacterial infection.
Once the immune system defenses in your gum line are weakened by periodontal disease, you become more vulnerable to other types of disease-causing bacteria. Therefore, some types of bacteria that can cause pneumonia may enter your lungs through your mouth and inflamed gums.
One of the fatal effects of periodontal disease is when the bacteria starts to eat the jawbone and periodontal ligaments. Bone loss is also the reason why this dental condition causes tooth loss. Sadly, bone loss not only happens within the jaws but also throughout the body and can increase the progression of osteoporosis in patients who are at risk for it.The low mineral bone density that results from both osteoporosis and gum disease only makes both conditions worse in the long run.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Aside from the health conditions mentioned above, scientists discovered that the disease-causing bacteria found in periodontal disease are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
- Birth complications
The bacteria that cause periodontal disease in pregnant women can affect the babies in their wombs. According to some studies, the gum-disease bacteria that travels through the mother’s bloodstream will target the fetus in the womb and lead to premature labor and low-birth-weight (PLBW) babies..
Poor oral health due to periodontal disease is also linked to eating disorders, arthritis, immune system disorders, and even cancer.
3 Tips to prevent periodontal disease
If you’re unsure whether you need to visit your dentist regularly, the conditions mentioned above are good enough reasons to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
You are investing in your overall health when you keep good oral hygiene and have regular dental checkups. Here are some tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
Brush your teeth regularly
Most people are aware that they need to brush their teeth at least twice a day to keep them clean and healthy. However, brushing doesn’t help if it is not done properly.
- Make sure to brush your teeth using circular motions. Brush the back, front, and top of your teeth. The entire process could take up to 3 minutes, but most people brush their teeth for a minute or less.
- Do not use a hard-bristled toothbrush because it damages your tooth enamel, which then results in gum erosion and tooth sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and change your toothbrush every 3 months.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Using toothpaste with fluoride helps prevent cavities and other gum problems. Fluoride is commonly found in most toothpaste and mouthwash, but some do not have it. When fluoride and the calcium and phosphate found in our teeth meet, they create a powerful defense called fluorapatite that protects and fights the bacteria that attacks your teeth.
Start taking care of your body by taking care of your teeth
With the direct link of your gums to the heart, brain, lungs, and other parts of your body, taking care of your teeth is also indirect care for the rest of your body. Your oral health is significant to your overall health.
Make sure to invest time and energy into taking care of your teeth properly. If you notice signs of plaque buildup, our team of dental professionals in Ballantyne can help. Aten & Garofalo Dentistry can help you prevent and treat your oral health problems. Visit our dental practice in Ballantyne or schedule an appointment and start taking care of your teeth today!