Effects of Oral Health on the Body
Some ways your oral health can affect your overall health are fairly obvious. For example, if you have one or more missing teeth, it can become difficult to eat healthy fruits and vegetables as well as other foods that are good for you. Resorting to food that is easier to eat without teeth can reduce your intake of important nutrients. Lack of vitamins leads to a variety of illnesses, up to and including malnutrition.
Other effects, though, are less obvious. For example, infection in the mouth can cause systemic infection throughout the body. Studies have shown that gum disease can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to the spread of bacteria into the circulatory system. Infection in the mouth can also spread to adjacent areas such as the facial bones, sinuses, and, in some severe cases, into the brain.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
A healthy mouth, then, is a vital foundation for your health overall. At-home care is the first line of defense to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush and floss regularly and follow any other instructions provided by your dentist. Dental checkups about twice a year will help monitor problems that would otherwise remain undetected, such as hidden inflammation or minor decay.
Today’s emphasis on preventive dentistry means your dentist is more likely to find problems in early stages. Having your gums and teeth evaluated regularly helps diagnose problems before they become serious. Other treatments like sealants, fluoride treatments, and professional cleanings also help keep your mouth as healthy as possible. If you take good care of your teeth and follow your dentist’s instructions and recommendations, you will be more likely to maintain good health overall.
If it’s time to schedule your next professional dental exam, contact Withers Dentistry at (940) 293-2635 today.