Good oral health goes beyond having a bright smile and fresh breath. Several researchers have found that maintaining oral hygiene, including regular visits to the dentist, brushing and flossing regularly, and undergoing treatments such as root canals, fillings, and dental implants, can reduce the risk of serious health problems. Read on to understand the connections between oral health and overall wellness and why taking care of both is important.

Oral Health and Heart Health

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an oral health problem caused by plaque buildup on teeth. If untreated, gum disease can damage the gum tissues and even lead to tooth loss. Studies have shown several links between gum disease and various health problems like heart attacks, strokes, and other serious cardiovascular diseases. People with inflammation caused by gum disease can be more at risk for developing these conditions. So, it’s wise to stay on top of dental care, as this can prevent gum disease and lead to a healthier heart.

Oral Health and Diabetes

Although some may not know it, there’s a strong relationship between gum disease and diabetes. People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, including those affecting the gums. On the flip side, gum disease can also make it harder to control blood sugar levels, potentially worsening diabetes complications. This dual-sided interaction makes it essential for people, particularly those with diabetes, to maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental checkups so they can stay in good health.

Oral Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

The effects of oral health can also influence cognitive function. Medical research has shown a potential connection between gum disease and cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. The bacteria found in gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and enter the brain. This can cause inflammation and harm to brain cells, potentially paving the way for Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to note that good oral hygiene isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it can reduce the risk of developing this disease.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

People who are pregnant are often reminded of the importance of their health to the developing baby. Oral health is an essential aspect of this. Overlooking dental hygiene during pregnancy has been associated with various unfavorable consequences, including preterm birth and low birth weight. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy can make individuals more susceptible to gum disease. So, having proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist while pregnant can lead to a happy and healthy family.

The Bottom Line

From pregnancy to diabetes, there are several links between an individual’s oral health and their overall well-being. By getting regular dental checkups and maintaining good oral hygiene, such as flossing daily, brushing one’s teeth twice a day, reducing sugary and acidic drinks, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, an individual can uphold a healthy smile and contribute to their better general health in the long run. People can check with different dental clinics to compare services, inquire about preventive measures, and even discuss expenses like root canal costs before making informed decisions about their oral health.