Visiting your dentist is about a whole lot more than just making sure your breath is fresh and your teeth don’t hurt.
The state of your mouth can give a much deeper insight into your overall health. Not only can the inflammation caused by gum disease wreak havoc throughout your body. Bleeding gums are an open invitation for all manner of bacteria to enter your bloodstream.
It has been well documented at this point, that poor oral health has strong links to other, much more sinister diseases.
The link between heart disease and periodontitis (gum disease) is a strong one. The percentage of heart disease patients that have gum disease is significantly higher than the figures for gum disease amongst the population not affected by heart disease.
It is thought that inflammations in the mouth translate through to the blood vessels. This raises blood pressure as it means that blood has a harder time going to and from the heart.
There has been much research into links between oral health and Alzheimer’s. Some of which shows that poor gum health is strongly linked to cognitive decline.
Although not widely established as yet. Some experts claim that inflammation from gum disease could weaken bone mass elsewhere in the body. And studies have found a higher prevalence of poor oral health amongst women that have Osteoporosis compared with the general population.
Risks of premature labour and low birth weight go up in women that suffer from periodontitis. Both of which can have a serious impact on a babies health.
Other health concerns
The trouble doesn’t stop there, with all manner of respiratory and kidney disease going up in patients with poor mouth health and gum disease. While diabetes and gum disease is a catastrophic combination as the two feed off of each other. There are more than enough reasons for you to take care of your oral health to last you a lifetime.
How to keep your mouth healthy
I will assume that if you’ve read the above then you’re already frantically reaching for your toothbrush. But aside from a thorough brushing twice a day, what else can you do to keep your mouth on top form?
Floss. Daily, and not just immediately before your dentist appointment. It will remove all of the plaque missed by your toothbrush that will otherwise just fester away in your mouth.
Clean your tongue. You can use a toothbrush, or buy a special tongue scraper. Either way, cleaning your tongue is just as important to good overall oral health as tooth brushing. And it’ll make your breath smell fresher too.
Regular dental checks. Every 6 months you should be heading to the dentist for a cleaning and exam. This is vital to knowing where you’re at with your oral health and will allow you to catch problems while they’re still relatively easy to fix.
The bottom line is if something as simple as taking care of your teeth can help keep you healthy. Can you afford not to?