Sound surprising? We’ll explain.
The fact is, your oral health has a profound impact on the health of the rest of your body. Still, a trip to the dentist is often the one healthcare visit that’s put off most.
Perhaps patients are struggling with dental anxiety (we have a few tips for that), or perhaps it’s due to pandemic-era wariness. Whatever the reason, learning about your oral health’s impact on the rest of your body may just be the motivation you need to finally get that appointment with your Fort Worth dentist on the books.
Today we’re taking a closer look at why better oral health can translate to better overall health and some of the problems that can arise if it is neglected.
Health Problems Linked to Poor Oral Health
In general, the bacteria that call your mouth home are harmless (or even helpful). But when oral hygiene isn’t prioritized, bacteria can reach dangerous levels that could cause infections like periodontal disease or tooth decay.
Your saliva also plays a vital role in protecting you from potentially harmful microbes that could cause disease elsewhere in the body. Without proper oral health (or if certain medications like decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and others are taken), saliva flow can be reduced, limiting its ability to protect you.
The culprit? As usual, it all comes down to the bacteria in your mouth that may be present due to an infected tooth or gums, which can enter your bloodstream and wreak havoc.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Conversely, when gum disease is controlled, individuals with diabetes may also find that their sugars are easier to control as well.
Infertility and Pregnancy Complications
Poor oral health and infections like gingivitis have been linked to infertility as well as problems like premature birth or low birth weight. Scheduling appointments during your pregnancy with a Fort Worth dentist can keep oral bacteria in check and give you peace of mind for your baby.
This decline (and the periodontal disease, unsightly teeth, and bad breath that often comes with it) can, in turn, lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence.
In particular, subjects with gingivitis tended to perform poorly on delayed verbal recall and subtraction.
In fact, if a patient is a candidate for a kidney transplant, they will first need to be cleared of infection during a dental health exam. If the patient cannot be cleared, they may not be able to receive the transplant they need. This is due to the fact that certain medications that suppress the immune system will need to be administered following the transplant to maximize the chances of a successful transplant.
How to Stay on Top of Oral Health
We all want a brilliant smile, fresh breath, and straight teeth. But beyond the cosmetic benefits of a healthy mouth, keeping up with good oral hygiene practices offers a host of other benefits, including:
- Improved memory
- Healthier pregnancy
- Improved fertility
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Improved self-esteem
Flossing properly involves more than loosening any food that may be stuck between your teeth. For optimal gum health, it’s essential to go deeper. As the floss reaches the base of the tooth, curve it into a “C” shape so it can enter the space between your tooth and your gums.
Make sure you’re using a clean section of floss for each tooth. If you use floss picks, you’ll likely need to use several of them in one session to avoid spreading any potentially dangerous germs.
Brush Regularly and Keep Your Toothbrush in Good Condition
The general recommendation is to brush at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and to replace your toothbrush every three months. Additional brushing between midday meals can also help promote good oral health.
Mouthwash can be used following brushing and flossing to remove any leftover food particles or other debris and to leave your breath fresh.
If you’ve been putting off a visit to a Fort Worth dentist, get one on the books today.
Even if you don’t remember the last time you went to the dentist (it happens more often than you think), don’t fear that your dental team will judge you. At Smile Fort Worth, we understand dental health comes with anxiety for many people. Here, you’ll find compassionate care and a team of professionals who are just excited to help you get back on the path of oral health.
If you are new to the area or just in need of a new Fort Worth dentist, schedule an appointment today online or over the phone.
Contact Smile Fort Worth
If it’s been more than six months since your last appointment, schedule an appointment with Smile Fort Worth today.