May 8, 2019
When you think about your overall health, you probably think about getting enough exercise, sleeping 8 hours a night, and eating a healthy diet. But did you know that your teeth and gums also have an effect on your body as well? In recent years, researchers have discovered that there’s a strong mouth-body connection and that regular visits with a dentist in Richardson and good oral hygiene are crucial for good general health. In this blog, you’ll learn about 3 ways your mouth and body are linked that might surprise you!
1. Gum Disease
Gum disease is not only the leading cause of tooth loss, but has also been found to increase the risk for many serious health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Some cancers
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums (including after brushing or flossing), chronic bad breath, swollen or tender gums, and loose teeth (in advanced stages). By getting checkups every 6 months, a dentist will be able to catch gum disease in the early stages and keep it from progressing.
Dental cavities are actually infections of the teeth. Certain types of bacteria in the mouth produce acids that wear away at the tough outer layer of your teeth called enamel. Eventually, this bacteria can make its way into the center of the tooth where the pulp and nerve reside and turn into a larger infection or abscess.
If a cavity goes untreated too long, it can lead to an excruciating toothache and the infection can spread to other areas of the body. In severe cases, this can become dangerous or even life-threatening if it’s not addressed in time.
3. Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth are primarily a cosmetic concern for many people, but there are other consequences to consider as well.
First, crooked teeth make it harder to maintain good oral hygiene, leading to inflammation in your mouth and an increased likelihood of cavities and gum disease. In addition, a misaligned bite can cause problems with your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which can cause significant pain, difficulty chewing, and a lower quality of life.
Many people are surprised to learn that these 3 dental problems can affect their overall health. But by addressing them with good oral hygiene and regular dental care, you’ll improve your oral health and reduce your risk for many diseases at the same time.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Richards is a family dentist in Richardson and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. He always has both his patients’ oral health and general well-being in mind, and strives to help them lead long, healthy lives through better dental health. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website.
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