The Larger Benefits of Maintaining Good Oral Health
When it comes to our health, we’re learning that everything is connected. And that seems to be especially true for our oral health. Many studies in recent years point to a direct connection between the health of your teeth and gums and your overall health. Those with poor oral health very often also exhibit symptoms of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
There are a number of ways this data can be viewed, one of which is that when you don’t take care of your body, you’re less likely to take care of your teeth and gums, so naturally there’s a correlation between the two. But actually, there’s very strong evidence that poor oral health leads to poor overall health. In other words, when you don’t maintain good dental habits, you put yourself at greater risk for larger health issues such as heart disease and cancer.
Of course the flip side of this is that when you do invest in good oral hygiene, you’re giving yourself a boost in protection from these debilitating diseases.
Gum disease in particular has a strong correlation to overall health. About 50 percent of American adults have gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gum disease is caused by an inflammatory reaction to a bacterial infection below the gum line, and the condition can lead to receding gums, irritation, swelling, and tooth loss if not properly treated.
Warning signs that you may have gum disease include:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Teeth that are loose or separating from each other
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings to lower your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
If you have any concerns about your oral health, call our office to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to answer questions and discuss your treatment options.