The dentist is a scary place. Harsh drilling sounds, piercing needles, those face masks, there’s enough in a clinic to make even the hardiest individual wince. This can result in visits to the dentist not being quite as regular as they should be. As a consequence, an individuals dental health will deteriorate. This is a major issue that is often overlooked and can have major impacts on a individuals well being, as oral health is key to a person’s overall health and well-being. A healthy mouth allows for the proper nutrition of the rest of the body, is critical to social interaction, a boosts self-esteem.
When it comes to health warning signs, the mouth can be a window to the rest of the body. Mouth lesions, for example, can be early warning signs of HIV or herpes, Coeliac or Crohn’s disease can be spotted by apthous ulcers, and bleeding gums can highlight underlying blood disorders and other serious health issues. Saliva can also contain toxins and compounds which are indicators of health issues.
Oral Health and Heart Conditions
For close to two decades, doctors and dentists have been discussing the potential link between oral health and heart conditions. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women and a serious strain on healthcare around the world. The link between this serious health risk and oral health is inflammation. Inflammation in gums is a sure sign of gum disease. There are two main types: gingivitis, which causes red, tender gums, and periodontitis, which causes infected pockets of germy pus to form. It is the latter that causes serious issue with regard to heart disease. Due to the fact that gums are incredibly vascular, periodontitis gives bacteria and other toxins a route into the blood stream. This is well documented as causing an increase is strokes and heart disease.
Prevention is always preferable to a cure, so good dental hygiene is necessary to maintaining good oral health. This includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If this is not enough and health issues do arise, contact a respected dentist immediately and arrange for a check-up and, if necessary, any dental work required.
How to Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
Good dental hygiene takes little time and effort to achieve and maintain. A simple routine will help prevent the majority of dental problems.
- Brush your teeth before bed every night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between the teeth with interdental brushes or floss at least once a day.
- Control your eating habits – sugary food and drink will damage teeth, so avoid eating these on a regular basis.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups. They will be able to spot and prevent any serious issues before they get out of hand.