Your mouth is home to millions of good and bad bacteria. Some are important for your health and immune system, while others (if left unchecked) can wreak havoc on your oral health, increasing not only the risk of gum disease (gingivitis) and tooth decay, but also heart disease and diabetes.
Read today's post for 5 reasons why you should prioritize your oral health.
dental health impacts overall health
Your oral health is linked to your overall health through several systems, and can affect your heart, fertility, and risk of diabetes. Brushing and flossing regularly helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. This buildup provides ideal conditions for bad bacteria to flourish in your mouth, causing damage to your gums and leading to inflammation and infection. These bacteria can then enter your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body.
detect oral disease early
Several types of oral diseases can be detected during routine dental check-ups. Talk with your dentist about how often you should schedule check-ups. Common schedules include every 6 months or every year. At your check-up, ask your dentist if you are brushing and flossing correctly. Ask questions you have and don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and share what you struggle with. If you don't like using stranded floss, ask about floss picks or water flossers. Ask for their recommendation on electric toothbrushes in several price ranges.
prevent tooth loss
The inflammation and infection associated with gum disease can lead to pain, discomfort, and trouble eating. Additionally, as damage to your gums increase, your teeth will loosen and you may risk losing them. Cleaning your tooth surfaces and between them with regularly brushing, appropriate toothpaste, and flossing can reduce the risk of gum disease or help reverse early signs. Regularly visiting the dentist for a thorough cleaning will help remove any tartar build-up and start you fresh. They can also provide recommendations for other problems, such as tooth sensitivity.
reduce bad breath
Bad breath can be caused by a build-up of the bacteria associated with oral diseases. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing can reduce the risk of bad breath, as can brushing your tongue and swishing with an appropriate mouthwash.
improve your confidence
If you're embarrassed by your smile, there may be steps you can take. Whether you've slacked on taking care of your teeth due to depression, phobias, or lack of knowledge, consider seeing a dentist to find out what you can do to improve your teeth and gum health at home, and what procedures may be appropriate for you. Ask about costs and financing options. The porcelain veneers procedure may be one option to help overcome stained or discolored teeth, or teeth that have shifted position due to gum disease or tartar build-up.
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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