Dental health may have strong connections with the health of the rest of your body and even your mind. For years, researchers have studied the ties between oral hygiene and the rest of the body. What they’ve discovered is that good dental care promotes overall health. Taking care of your teeth can decrease the risk of oral cancer, inflammation, and life-threatening infections – not to mention helping you look and feel your very best.
Oral Hygiene, the Body, and the Mind
Eating regularly and exercising isn’t enough to maintain a totally healthy body. You must also take care of your oral health. If you have problems in your mouth, you’ll likely have problems elsewhere as a result. Inflammation in the gums (gingivitis), for example, may contribute to heart disease. There are MANY health problems that could result from poor oral health. Some of the health problems you could be at risk for when you neglect your dental health include:
● Infection and abscesses. On top of producing an inflammatory response, untreated gum disease and cavities can result in serious infections and abscesses, or pockets of pus at the root of the tooth. Abscesses are bacterial infections that can threaten your life if left untreated.
● Oral cancer. If you don’t visit a dentist regularly, you may not be able to catch oral cancer in time for a cure. Early detection is key in avoiding a terminal diagnosis for this type of cancer. Attentive dental care can help catch this disease in its beginning stages.
● Dementia. A 2013 study showed a link between gum disease/poor dental health and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The study pinpointed a type of gum disease bacteria in the brain (Porphyromonas gingivalis) in four out of 10 test subjects with dementia.
Brushing your teeth, flossing regularly, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year can help you maintain ideal oral health and hygiene throughout your life. Good dental care and things like professional teeth cleanings can help prevent plaque buildup, cavities, gingivitis, and other oral problems that may have ties to physical and mental health issues. See your dentist regularly to promote better all-around health.