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A lack of proper dental hygiene ruins your smile, but that’s only one of the many reasons that it’s imperative to take your dental health seriously.
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, regular dental visits, and avoiding sugary foods and drinks are all simple ways to keep a check on your oral health and well-being.
Why Dental Health is so Important
Why is it so important that you take your dental health seriously? The following five reasons explain why it is so important to maintain good oral health:
Heart Attack/Stroke/Cardiovascular Health
Numerous studies link increased the risk of heart disease amongst those with oral health issues such as Periodontal Disease. According to these various studies, particularly a Canadian Academy of Periodontology study, those with PD are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or sustain heart disease, and three times more likely to have a stroke than people without periodontal disease.
Why the increased risk?
Bacteria exposed in the mouth can increase inflammation in areas throughout the body. Inflammation is one of the major heart disease risk factors. Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, occurs when bacteria spread through the bloodstream and attach themselves to damaged areas of the heart. Risk of developing this condition increases considerably amongst those with Periodontal disease and oral health problems.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
It’s a two-fold problem. Individuals with diabetes are also at an increased risk for gum disease. New studies now suggest that gum disease may also contribute to diabetes. Due to bacteria in the mouth, the carbohydrate metabolism is affected, increasing insulin resistance and blood glucose levels.
With many new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year, it is important to take care of your oral health to ensure that you are not among those new diagnoses. The ways that diabetes impacts your life depends upon the type of diabetes affecting your life, though it is said that both bring a multitude of negative consequences that you do not want to experience.
Monitoring for Oral Cancer
Dentists perform cancer screenings during dental checkups, giving just one more reason to make those twice-yearly visits to the dentist. Oral cancer screenings include inspections of the lips, gums, cheeks, and the tongue.
These inspections look for anything unusual or suspicious, alerting the dental professional to the concern so, hopefully, any dangers are immediately detected and treated.
Oral Cancer oftentimes begins as a small lesion inside the mouth, though no other symptoms are noticeable. A small dark red or white patch inside the mouth could very well be a sign of trouble. The dentist has the expertise and training to detect oral cancer early, increasing the odds of survival against this deadly cancer.
Preventing Respiratory Infections
According to the Journal of Periodontology, poor dental hygiene can cause respiratory infections. According to a 2011 study, periodontal disease increases the risk of various respiratory infections, including pneumonia and chronic pulmonary disease.
Respiratory infections occur as result of inhaling bacteria which is transmitted from the upper throat to the lower respiratory tract. This is an extremely serious condition that can be deadly.
Fertility & Pregnancy
If you’re a woman of childbearing age who’s considering having a baby, it is important that you’re taking the best care of your teeth an oral health. Not only can periodontal disease increase the difficulty of conception, it may also cause premature birth or low birth weight.
Women bothered by oral health problems or periodontal disease takes an average of seven months to conceive, whereas healthy women free from such concerns took a period of only five months to conceive.
Oral Health Tips for Success
It is imperative that you take the best care of your teeth and mouth so these, and other health concerns, do not negatively impact your life. These five issues are only the start of many concerns that worsen when issues like periodontal disease affect your life, though none of the problems are your burdens when proper oral health care is initiated daily.
A few tips that can help you maintain your beautiful smile and great oral health:
- Use mouthwash! Using a mouthwash just twice daily reduces the risk of developing gum disease by approximately 60%! At least 30 seconds swishing a microbial mouthwash around in the mouth each day has great results!
- Floss the teeth before you brush.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush when brushing the teeth. Firm or hard toothbrushes may potentially damage the teeth, scratching away at the surface over time. It is beneficial to invest in a quality toothbrush as well.
- Brush your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each session. Brush the front and back of the teeth. Don’t forget to brush the tongue to remove dirt, bacteria, etc. and freshen the breath.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it can also whiten the teeth. Eating an apple at lunch when you’re unable to brush the teeth can help remove plaque and food from the teeth while providing a sweet, satisfying, and healthy snack!
- Visit the dentist once every six months and more often if oral health problems occur
Your smile is one of your most important qualities, but once it is gone, it is gone forever. Cherish your smile, beautiful teeth, and good oral health, and ensure that you’re taking dental health seriously, visiting the dentist twice yearly, or more often if there are concerns in between these time periods.
Not only is your smile and oral hygiene at risk if you aren’t taking your dental health seriously, the conditions above, and many others can also make a serious impact on your life. It is far too easy to take care of your oral hygiene and avoid these problems altogether rather than allow them to cause you concern.
Schedule your appointment with Bloor West Smiles and take charge of your dental health!