Oral hygiene is a major pre-requisite to your overall health. Which means you can avoid many health problems simply by making sure you brush your teeth, floss and take care to ensure your mouth stays healthy.
Like my dentist says, “Healthy mouth-healthy body”. He’s right. Good oral health lowers your risk for serious diseases and may even have a role to play in retaining your memory as you grow – older. There is research to prove it.
For those who have children or know people who have children, it is worth it to catch them young and teach them how to take care of their teeth and gums and develop the habit. It pays off for life. Brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are a small price to pay compared to the benefits you can enjoy.
But what is the connection between oral hygiene and a healthy body? Much more than a beautiful smile! Read on to find out why.
Here are six reasons how oral hygiene can affect your health.
You feel confident
That seems obvious, right? Ever notice how someone with bad teeth tries to smile less or covers their mouth or appears self conscious if they have to smile? Decayed teeth or gum disease mean stinky breath with a mouth you don’t want to open. This has a deep impact on your confidence and self-esteem. If your mouth is healthy, you feel happy to smile a lot, laugh a lot and the quality of your life is better. You eat well; you sleep well and do not have painful teeth or infections to hassle you.
Your risk for heart disease is lower
Gum disease can cause chronic inflammation and this is known to develop cardiovascular problems leading to heart diseases, blocking blood vessels – and worse still, stroke. So – when you take care of your teeth, this lowers your risk for heart disease.
You protect your memory
Gingivitis or swollen bleeding gums affects every day skills. It delays verbal recall and subtraction. Those with gingivitis also experience poorer memory and cognitive skills than people with healthy gums and teeth.
You lower the risk of infection and inflammation
Unhealthy teeth and gums can cause infections in other parts of the body. In older people, periodontal disease is linked to pneumonia. This is because the bacteria enter the lungs, making the infection and other lung conditions worse
Gum disease also has an impact on rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease resulting in inflammation of the joints. The connective tissue in gum disease and RA gets destroyed in the same way. What you can do to avoid these problems is stick to a balanced diet, get regular dental checkups and maintain good oral hygiene to lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste to eliminate the risk for gingivitis.
You can stabilize your blood sugar
If you suffer from diabetes, you can control your blood sugar with good oral hygiene. When blood sugar is out of control, gum disease is a common occurrence. Diabetics take a very long time to heal from infections. You can reduce your risk for gum disease by taking care of your oral health.
Link between pregnancy and oral health
Good oral health plays a significant role in helping pregnant women avoid premature deliveries. Some women who suffer from gingivitis during pregnancy have been found to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies. During pregnancy it is important to see your dentist to ensure there are no infections and problems.
So there you have it! To avoid the sheer inconvenience of multiple visits to the dentists, make good oral hygiene a habit. There are few things worse in life than sensitive teeth, root canal treatments and oh, that big hole in the wallet.
Stay healthy and keep smiling!
Vidya Sury earns her toothpaste and mouthwash as a Freelance Writer and Blogger.
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