Your oral health has far-reaching effects that influence the rest of your body. As the gateway to the rest of your body, your mouth harbors a ton of bacteria! While some of it is safe, others can trigger diseases. That’s why maintaining good oral health is so important to your physical health. We’ll be discussing the correlation today and the steps you can take to keep your smile healthy.
How Are Oral Health and Overall Health Connected?
There are a variety of problems that can arise without proper oral hygiene. When you brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once, get a dental checkup every six months, and eat healthy foods, you are taking important measures to keep health issues at bay. Here’s how oral health issues can affect the rest of your body:
- Gum Disease – This actually increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. If you are pregnant, it can also increase your risk for premature birth. However, if you do show signs of gum disease, we provide treatment that will eliminate the infection and get your oral health back on track.
- Lost or Broken Teeth – Missing teeth can influence which foods you enjoy. Often, if you have several missing teeth in a row, it may cause you to avoid crunchy foods like vegetables, apples, and nuts. It also can lead to bone loss in your jaw, which can affect your appearance and lead to worsening oral health issues. If you have missing teeth, schedule a visit so we can discuss restorative care as well as possible implants!
- Teeth Grinding or TMJ Disorder – If you grind your teeth or have a TMJ disorder, it can lead to dental damage as well as other physical effects like muscle pain around your neck and shoulder, headaches, and jaw pain. Make sure you see us if you are dealing with these types of symptoms. We offer TMJ treatment that will eliminate your pain and can address any damage that has happened.
But what about the other way around? Your physical health also affects your oral health, like
- Medications – Certain medications can cause dry mouth which can increase your risk for gum disease. This is because saliva helps wash away food particles and other bacteria in your mouth.
- Sleep Apnea – This means you wake up during the night because your airway is obstructed. You may gasp to take in air and go right back to sleep. If this happens often enough, you may not get proper sleep which can lead to further problems with your health. Plus, this can lead to dry mouth as well because you may sleep with your mouth open. If you are dealing with sleep apnea, let us know during your appointment. We offer sleep apnea treatment that can get you a better night’s rest.
- Diseases – Some diseases increase oral health issues like HIV/AIDs, Alzheimers, and diabetes. That’s why we ask about your health and any ongoing issues you may have when you become a new patient. It can help us understand any problems that arise and offer you solutions.
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health
Maintaining good oral health is an important part of maintaining good overall health too. Here are a few ways you can ensure a healthy smile for life:
- Schedule regular checkups. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you visit your dentist every six months. We’ll not only clean your teeth and gums, but we’ll also perform a thorough exam. It will give us a chance to address problems in their early stages so you can avoid any invasive procedures.
- Practice good dental care habits. Brushing twice a day is an important part of good dental health. Make sure you brush for at least two minutes long! Also, be sure to floss too. Both of those daily practices are an essential part of your oral health.
- Address concerns early on. Whether you’ve had a dental emergency or are concerned about an oral health issue, visit us as soon as possible. It’s far easier to treat when an issue is small and in its early stages.
Call Wilton Dental Associates today at 203-293-2086 to schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.