Ways Your Dental Health Affects You
Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 26% of adults in the U.S. suffer from tooth decay, and about 46 percent of all Americans aged 30+ exhibit signs of gum disease. You probably know that your oral health is connected to your overall health.
Taking good care of your mouth can reduce your chances of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental-related issues. Read on to learn about ways your dental health affects you, oral health tips, and how to practice good oral hygiene.
The Mouth and Body Connection
Your dental health gives clues about your general body health. So, problems in the mouth can quickly affect your overall health. The mouth contains millions of bacteria, most of which are harmless. However, if you neglect to care for your teeth, the bacteria will grow over time and trigger periodontal disease (gum disease).
In fact, having gum disease is thought to increase your risk of various diseases, including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia, as well as pregnancy and birth complications. Similarly, some chronic conditions are also believed to increase your risk of periodontal disease. The most common chronic diseases linked to gum disease include:
- Diabetes – Gum disease is thought to be common among patients with diabetes. Furthermore, diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting your gums at great risk. Medical experts suggest that regular dental checkups can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
- Osteoporosis – This condition weakens bones and is often associated with periodontal bone and tooth loss. Some medications used to treat osteoporosis can also damage periodontal bones.
- Cancer – Certain cancers, such as leukemia and oral cancer, can occur due to poor oral hygiene. Cancer is a severe medical condition that should be treated promptly as soon as it’s detected. Maintaining proper dental hygiene can also help reduce the risk of cancer.
- HIV/AIDS – People with HIV/AIDS have a high risk of various oral complications like lacerations of the mouth. Taking medication along with proper oral hygiene can improve the overall health of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
People with gum disease may experience:
- Bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath
- Shifting teeth
- Gums that bleed during and after brushing or flossing
- Increased space between gum and teeth
- Gum bleeding
- Teeth movement and improper teeth alignment
- Red, swollen, and tender gums
How to Protect Oral Health
Good oral health is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. However, this takes lifetime care and involves habits like regular brushing and routine dental checkups. Remember, mouth problems can lead to pain, tooth loss, speech problems, and other issues if not treated. Here are the recommended best practices to help maintain proper oral health.
- Brush your teeth regularly—at least twice daily and don’t be aggressive but instead, use a soft-bristled brush.
- Floss your teeth once a day
- Consider a mouthwash to eliminate food substances left after brushing
- Limit foods with added sugar as they can lead to cavities
- Do not smoke
- Replace your toothbrush at least after every three months
- Visit a dentist regularly
Oral Health – The Bottom Line
Sometimes people don’t take their dental health as seriously as they should. At David L. Evans DDS, we are committed to helping you maintain good oral health. We understand that achieving excellent oral health is a lifelong process and not a walk in the park.
At our Boulder, CO dental office, we offer comprehensive dental solutions that will keep your gum and teeth in brilliant shape. We also offer cosmetic dentistry to boost your comfort and confidence. If you have any questions regarding your oral health, please visit our website or call us on 303-442-0990 today to schedule your appointments.