Dental health really only affects your teeth, right? Wrong! Very, very wrong.
Taking care of your teeth, gums and general oral cavity carries much greater importance than just having pearly whites. The mouth is the gateway to the internal body – we’re talking organs, circulation and the heart. Poor oral hygiene can lead to elevated levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to problems in other areas of the body.
Many people don’t make regular visits to their dentist. It’s relatively common to only visit a dentist with pain or some tooth issue, but doing this misses the whole point of dental visits.
What Do Dentists Do Anyway?
Visiting the dentist is more than just getting a deep clean and removing plaque buildup. The role of the dentist is to look at the whole mouth and assess the possibility of disease. But even beyond the mouth, dentists are assessing the muscles of the head, neck and jaw, checking for lumps or abnormalities and potential problems with the salivary glands, tongue and/or nervous system. Everything from cavities to gum disease is best if caught early and only leads to bigger (and more expensive) problems if ignored.
Health Implications of Poor Dental Health
So if you don’t brush, floss or get regular checkups, you might get an oral disease or lose your teeth later in life. It seems many are willing to take that risk out of fear or aversion to dental visits. It’s understandable, the dentist is hardly fun (although I do enjoy the feeling of super clean teeth afterward and the renewed motivation to floss), but going to the dentist can also help prevent a host of other health issues including:
- Gum Disease
- Tooth Decay
- Heart Disease
- Infection of the heart caused by bacteria in the bloodstream
- Alzheimer’s Disease (according to Mayo Clinic, tooth loss before age 35 is associated with Alzheimer’s disease)
Beyond physical health, poor dental health and hygiene may have an effect on self-esteem and employability. We’ve all known people with “bad” teeth – they smile less, seem self-conscious about their teeth and may lack confidence to succeed in life. Point is, problems in the mouth can lead more more than just physical ailments, it could lead to mental, emotional or psychological turmoil.
Are you convinced? Are you willing to visit the dentist at least yearly to ensure the health of your mouth and beyond? If not, what’s stopping you? Feel free to share any experiences in the comments!