Your Smile Matters: How Dental Habits Affect Overall Health

dentistry

Did you know that your dental health affects your overall health? Neglecting dental hygiene can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of your teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing are essential, but it’s also important to see your dentist for regular checkups.

But how can we expect dental health to affect your overall well-being? Here are a few of the most common concerns you should be on the lookout for.

smile

It affects our appearance

It might sound superficial, but there’s a lot more behind it. If you have poor dental hygiene, then that means that plaque and bacteria will build up in your mouth, which can lead to discoloration, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

It’s been proven that the appearance of your teeth can affect your social life. Bad dental habits could discourage you from smiling or speaking in public because you’re embarrassed by how your teeth look. If you take better care of them, then this won’t be the case, and you’ll be able to smile more often.

It makes our breath stink

One of the most common complaints people have is bad breath. Bad breath isn’t just a problem when you eat food with strong odors like garlic or onions (although it does make them worse). It can even happen when you eat food that’s meant to be sweet, like certain types of candy or dessert.

Your breath can also worsen if you suffer from a dry mouth, which is often the result of dehydration. If your saliva production slows down because you aren’t drinking enough water, this could lead to bad breath and dry mouth and gums.

It can lead to heart disease and stroke

One of the most serious dangers of poor dental hygiene is that it can lead to heart disease and stroke. Bacteria from your mouth can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart, where they can cause inflammation and clots. If a clot travels to your brain, it could lead to a stroke.

This concern becomes especially serious if you have gum disease, which is often the case with periodontitis. The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread to other parts of your body and increase your risk for heart disease.

It can cause diabetes

Periodontal (gum) disease could lead to type 2 diabetes. You might be familiar with the concept of pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes. It is an early stage in the development of type 2 diabetes. If you have this disease, then it means that your body has trouble handling sugar levels in your blood. The bacteria from the periodontal infection can increase inflammation and other symptoms associated with pre-diabetes.

People who have pre-diabetes are especially likely to develop diabetes within five years of diagnosis if they don’t get treatment.

It can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay

It may seem obvious, but the most common sign of poor dental hygiene is plaque and tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on your teeth when bacteria collect in your mouth.

If it isn’t removed, plaque can harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar continues to build up over time if you don’t clean your teeth properly, which leads to tooth decay and erosion of the enamel. If not treated early enough, this could lead to a cavity or even tooth loss.

It can lead to inflammation of the gums

Teeth are meant to have healthy gum tissue around them. When bacteria builds up in your mouth, it can irritate the gums and cause inflammation, also known as gingivitis. It causes swelling in the gums and causes your breath to smell worse due to the inflammation. If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is where the pockets between your teeth and gums become inflamed. The bigger these pockets are, the more difficulty you’ll have cleaning your teeth properly.

The bacteria that cause this condition can also enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart. It increases the likelihood that you’ll develop heart disease and stroke.

Taking Preventive Measures

Prevention is the key to healthy teeth and gums, which means that you should take all the right steps in terms of dental hygiene to ensure that plaque doesn’t build up or cause any problems.

However, severe cases might require oral surgery. Depending on the results of your diagnosis, you might need to have some teeth removed or undergo gum treatment. If the doctor identifies severe bone loss, they may recommend a bone graft before anything else.

Nonetheless, if you want to make sure that your smile is shining bright, then it’s up to you to take the first step. Taking care of your teeth and gums and seeing the dentist should be a top priority for you regardless.

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