We know that our overall health is linked to our oral health. Our mouths are filled with bacteria, and this is kept under control when we have a good daily oral hygiene routine. If you do not have an adequate oral hygiene routine, it isn’t just your teeth and gums at risk.
While not brushing and flossing daily will leave visible signs on your teeth, like decay, bad breath, receding gums, and other oral health problems, these effects can be seen in other areas of the body too.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a commitment that you make for life. The earlier you learn and maintain proper oral hygiene habits and teach them to children, the better.
Brushing, flossing, and limiting your sugar intake are just a few of the habits that can help. In the long run, it is better for your health and your wallet to take care of your teeth.
Facts About Dental and Oral Health
There are a few oral concerns that are common in most of the adult population.
- Nearly 100 percent of adults have at least one dental cavity
- In many countries, in 100,000 people, there are between 1 and 10 cases of oral cancer.
- Oral disease is more prevalent in disadvantaged populations groups.
- Between 15 and 20 percent of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have severe gum disease
- Between 60 and 90 percent of school ages, children have at least one dental cavity
Simple Steps To Help Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Dental disease and oral disease can be greatly reduced by taking the following steps:
- Brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should brush your teeth twice a day as a minimum. However, ideally, you should brush after eating sweet food or foods that stain your teeth.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day, but ideally twice. You can use dental floss, interdental brushes, dental picks, water floss, or air floss.
- Reducing how much sugar you eat can have a huge impact on your teeth
- Aim to increase your water intake
- Increase the fruit and vegetable intake that you eat
Always talk to your dentist about your dental hygiene and any concerns with your teeth and gums.
Symptoms of Dental and Oral Problems
You don’t need to wait until you have sore teeth or gums before you visit your dentist. It is often the case that when your gums and teeth hurt, there had been a simpler option when it comes to treatment. Your dentist can catch any issues at your twice a year visit.
There are a few symptoms that you should make a visit to your dentist immediately:
- Chronic bad breath
- Sudden sensitivity to cold and hot drinks and food
- Loose or wobbly teeth
- Swelling in the gums, face, and cheek
- Receding gums
- A frequent dry mouth
- Broken or cracked teeth
- If your jaw suddenly starts clicking
- If you are experiencing pain when you bite or chew
- If your gums begin to swell or bleed after flossing or brushing
These signs, along with a high fever and swelling, can be an indicator that something more serious is happening.
Health Issues Caused By Bad Oral Health
Many people try to avoid going to the dentist as a means of saving money. The problem is that oral health issues can have negative impacts on the rest of the body. Here are some of the health issues caused by bad oral health:
Diabetics are already more susceptible to a range of infections, and that includes infected gums. Periodontal disease can make diabetes more difficult to control. The symptoms can worsen as the blood sugar levels can be unstable. Gum disease can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level too.
There is a link between poor oral health and infertility in women. While gum disease can lead to various overall health problems, it can also make it harder to conceive. Any infection within the woman’s body can increase the likelihood of complications.
Kidney disease affects blood pressure, kidneys, heart, and bones. Infections like periodontal disease can weaken the immune system and also lead to kidney disease. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease.
People with gum disease are more likely to also have rheumatoid arthritis. What the diseases have in common is the inflammation. Oral bacteria from gingivitis can increase the inflammation through the entire body. According to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, people with gum disease were four times as likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Bacteria from the infected teeth and gums can be inhaled or travel through the bloodstream. Once bacteria reaches the lungs, respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and even COPD can cause respiratory infections.
Some of the substances that are released from the gums when they are inflamed can destroy brain cells and lead to memory loss. Brain deterioration can happen when gingivitis occurs, and the bacteria in the mouth spread through the nerve channels and enter the bloodstream.
Cardiovascular Disease and Oral Health
Many people might question how the heart and teeth are connected. It is increasingly common to hear that you need to have great oral health for a healthy heart. There is evidence of two specific links between gum disease and heart disease.
Studies show that people with moderate or advanced start gum disease are more likely to have heart disease. And, your dentist can often spot a range of diseases and conditions from the condition of your teeth and gums – including those in the heart.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Regular Dental Cleanings?
Teeth cleaning are an essential part of your dental hygiene routine and can help in the fight against gum disease and another dental disease. Regular teeth cleaning will remove hardened plaque, tartar, and other stains. This is important because even with a strict oral routine, there will be food debris that flossing and brushing can’t reach. Many people skip having this treatment as they believe that their own routine is enough.
It is recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year.
If these are missed, you will see an increase in gum disease, where the plaque and tartar are irritated the gum line. Hard white plaque, brown tartar, and dental stains are all very difficult to remove by yourself. However, during your regular cleaning, your dentist can take care of it for you. These build-ups can lead to bad breath that no amount of cleaning and brushing will remove.
Tooth loss is a common occurrence for those who do not take care of their teeth. Hardened plaque, tartar, and bacteria will cause pockets around the teeth. These pockets will inflame the gums causing them to swell. When left, this will often lead to tooth loss.
Cavities and tooth decay can occur underneath the build-up of tartar and plaque. This is because the build-up is almost impossible to remove by yourself. ]
Typical dental cleanings will involve the following:
- Initial examination of the teeth and gums
- Removal of the plaque and tartar
- Polishing of the teeth
- Deep flossing
- Where required, a fluoride treatment
- Eduction on improving oral hygiene or recommendations for future care
Cleaning is a vital part of the maintenance that can ensure you are taking care of your teeth the best way possible. The best thing about dental cleaning is that it is never too late to ask your dentist for an appointment. Getting your oral hygiene back on track is the best way to protect yourself in the future.
The True Value of Oral Health
Much like our homes and our cars, if we don’t do regular maintenance on them, the overall cost, in the end, is always much more expensive. And, in the case of dental might have more paint too. If we put off taking care of our oral health, it isn’t just our pockets that will feel the pinch on the final bill.
Many diseases can have a negative impact on our overall health too. Research shows more and more that our oral health is linked to our overall health – which is something that you simply cannot put a price on.
Oral health has been linked to diabetes complications, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. There is also the possibility to increase your risk of stomach ulcers due to a bacteria called H. Pylori. This bacteria can be present when there is not a suitable oral hygiene routine in place.
Without the proper care for your teeth and gums, you are introducing a wide range of harmful bacterial and substances into your bloodstream. These bad bacteria are shown to have disastrous effects on your health and well-being.
When you have the opportunity to take care of your oral health with good hygiene and the help of your dentist. Preventive care and acting on symptoms is the best thing that you can do for your long-term health and great looking teeth. The true value of oral health is priceless.