Oral Hygiene is Important to Overall Health

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Don’t wait until something is wrong with your mouth to visit the dentist! Regular dental visits, combined with daily preventative dental care, such as brushing and flossing, contribute to a lifetime of excellent oral health. When these visits are neglected, your mouth, and your whole body, can suffer. 

Research shows that the health of your mouth can directly reflect the health of your entire body! Links have been found between poor dental hygiene and ailments such as oral cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. But how do teeth impact the whole body?  

The answer is plaque. Without consistent dental cleaning, plaque quickly accumulates along the gum line, providing an environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. This buildup of bacteria leads to painful gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Additionally, researchers believe that increased plaque on the gums corresponds to increased plaque in the arteries, therefore heightening the risk of severe cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.

There has also been research that suggests a correlation between oral plaque buildup and premature birth. According to one study, it is estimated that as many as 18% of preterm babies born in the United States each year are linked to oral infections. This is a result of the harmful toxins released by bacteria found in plaque, which interfere with the bloodstream and are delivered to the fetus.

This research provides compelling evidence that the benefits of oral health cannot be underestimated. With all of these diseases stemming from lack of dental hygiene, it is clear that preventative oral care is crucial.  And while brushing and flossing on your own is important, it is also vital to schedule regular visits to see a dental professional. A six-month interval is the recommended length in between visits, allowing your dentist to accurately monitor your oral hygiene and look for any potential problems. Regular six-month visits greatly reduce the risk of bacterial plaque recolonizing to destructive levels under the gum line.

Your dentist is trained to recognize and treat the warning signs of gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral diseases, in order to prevent such chronic diseases from occurring. At your dental visit, the dentist will check your overall oral health for any trouble areas, and clean your teeth, removing any harmful plaque buildup. These regular dental examinations can significantly improve in your oral health, and therefore, your overall health!