The body is incredibly complex. Every system is intricately connected to surrounding organs, and the health of one part can affect the greater whole. This is absolutely true for oral health. Although many may not realize it, the quality of your oral health can significantly change overall well-being. Without dedicated oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you may face significant complications to your smile.
Bacteria and You
Although bacteria have a bad reputation, the smile is full of microorganisms that help us begin the digestion process. Some bacteria are harmful, however, and these are fueled by leftover food that is not rinsed or brushed away. Over time, hygiene neglect will allow these bacteria to spread over teeth and coat them in plaque which hardens into tartar. This substance is difficult to remove without a dentist’s aid, and if it is not addressed it will be the platform for bacterial infection to spread.
This progression from manageable gum disease to harmful periodontitis results in potentially permanent problems. Gums begin to recede, and become more sensitive, while teeth can become loose and even fall out. It does not have to get to this severe level, however, to impact the rest of the body.
Periodontitis has been found to increase the risk of complications such as heart disease, or stroke. Expecting mothers are also at greater risk for oral and systemic health issues since the growing child is using the mother’s nutrients. Mothers with gum disease may give birth prematurely or their child’s weight may be less than ideal. Periodontal bacteria also impact the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels, contributing to diabetes development or worsening a diabetic’s ability to stay healthy.
How to Proactively Protect the Smile
Adults are not the only ones who face health issues in regards to gum disease. All ages can develop unhealthy levels of bacteria in their smile. At-risk individuals include anyone who consumes too much sugar or those with bad habits such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption. These habits tend to dry out oral structures and make them prone to infection.
Without proper education and hygiene practices, children and adults will develop cavities frequently. It is important for children to begin oral hygiene practices early on, as this will protect them from long-term damage. Gum disease at a young age contributes to weight issues and development of diabetes.
Contact Crosspoint Dental Center for Compassionate Care
Dr. Luke Daining is your family dentist in Lynnwood who cares about your oral and overall health. He understands how the smile affects the body, and looks at every patients’ nutrition and hygiene habits to make sure they have the best chance at a beautiful smile. If you notice any issues related to your oral health, call us today for a checkup and cleaning.