mouth health

The Importance of Maintaining Your Mouth Health

People don’t always think of oral care as a health priority. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 64.7 million Americans have periodontitis or advanced gum disease.

The truth is, mouth health affects many other aspects of your overall wellness. Improper oral care has been linked with numerous diseases, many of them life-threatening.

Keep reading for a list of reasons why maintaining your mouth health is important. Some of them may surprise you.

Mouth Health for Disease Prevention

Bad oral hygiene can result in gum disease, periodontal disease, and other mouth-based afflictions. But did you know that the damage doesn’t end there?

Insufficient oral care can actually be linked to many harmful diseases. The diseases include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Respiratory infections
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

A lot of these diseases can be caused or exacerbated by infection. If an infection develops in the mouth, bacteria from that infection can enter into the bloodstream. This can transport the bacteria to the lungs, the brain, and other locations where it can do permanent damage.

For example, bad oral hygiene can be linked to cardiovascular disease through plaque buildup in the arteries. Bacteria in the bloodstream causes blockages and make it difficult for blood to circulate through the body. These blockages can result in heart attacks.

If the bacteria ends up in the lungs, it can cause respiratory afflictions like pneumonia or acute bronchitis. These can be life-threatening diseases, especially if you already struggle with breathing problems.

Bacteria build up in your mouth can also be linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is a symptom of both arthritis and early gum disease. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that there was a very close link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

And did you know that people who have bad oral hygiene are at a much greater risk for kidney disease and cancer? These are just a few of the diseases that bad oral hygiene can put you at risk for.

Oral Care for Fertility

Do you want to have kids in the future? Are you trying to have a baby right now? If so, good mouth health is essential.

Your oral health can actually have an impact on your fertility as a woman. Gum disease can make it more difficult to conceive. Gum disease occurs when plaque build-up causes inflammation in the gums. The inability to conceive is just one of the side effects of gum disease.

Similarly, bad oral health has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men. Poor oral hygiene can cause chronic periodontal disease (CPD). This is when pockets of bacteria form between the gums and the teeth. 

When this bacteria makes its way to the bloodstream, blood vessels become inflamed. Inflammation in blood vessels will cause a blockage that makes it very difficult for a man to achieve an erection.

If you get pregnant, bad oral hygiene can also make that pregnancy more difficult. It can lead to infections, which can result in pregnancy complications. Premature births and low birth weights are dangerous side effects of bad oral hygiene.

Mouth Health for the Elderly

Oral care is important for the elderly because many infections can exacerbate other medical conditions that affect older folks. In some cases, this can have deadly consequences.

Oral care can also have an effect on neural diseases that often affect the elderly. These diseases include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

If an infection develops in the mouth, bacteria can make its way into the bloodstream and nerve channels. This can kill brain cells and unfortunately lead to loss of memory. Exceptional oral care may help people avoid these conditions.

Sometimes, people who wear any kind of dental insert can struggle with maintaining cleanliness in the mouth. A lot of older people wear dentures, but this can also apply to people who wear retainers or Invisalign. To maintain oral health, it is important to develop a thorough cleaning routine for your dental insert.

A Beautiful Smile

Good oral care isn’t just about the looks, but what your smile looks like does matter. For many people, it’s the appearance of their teeth that motivates them to stay on top of their oral hygiene.

But it also matters because your oral health will influence your self-esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to anxiety and forms of depression. Good oral hygiene is therefore critical to both your physical and emotional health.

Strategies for Oral Care

To prevent any of these diseases or issues, good oral hygiene is a must. There are a couple of things you need to do to ensure your oral health.

First, you need to brush your teeth regularly. Experts recommend brushing at least twice a day, or after you eat. You should brush your teeth for approximately two minutes each time.

Floss your teeth every day, all the way down to the gum. The first couple of times that you floss, you should expect to see some bleeding in your gums. But if that bleeding does not go away after a few days, you should consult your dentist.

Avoid the substances that cause the most damage to your teeth. This includes smoking and chewing tobacco, as well as really sugary drinks and candy. 

Visit your dentist for a regular checkup and cleaning every six months. They are the best people to consult about maintaining good oral health.

Something to Smile About

Maintaining good oral health is critically important to your overall wellness. Mouth health will help you avoid more serious health problems, and your smile will look good too. In many cases, good health starts in the mouth.

Did this article inspire you to learn more about oral hygiene? Click here to keep exploring.

No Comments

Post A Comment