The Importance of a Healthy Smile

Importance of Dental Health

I have a confession to make, and it’s kind of an embarrassing one. I went to the dentist last week.

Ok that’s not the whole confession…

I hadn’t actually been to the dentist in over three years! Ugh. There’s really no reason why, it’s not like I’m afraid of the dentist or don’t have the time to go. It’s just always been one of those things I put off again and again. Well I finally stopped making excuses and got my butt in for a full exam and cleaning. And I’m happy to report that I’ve been cavity free since ’83. Woot woot!!

Now it isn’t just cavities that we should be concerned about – The reason I am writing this post is to address the importance of maintaining your dental health, and a healthy smile. After doing a bit of research, and having a stern talking to by my dentist, I was shocked to learn the serious health problems that can arise from poor oral care. I consistently strive to take good care of my physical health by working out and eating right, so why should I ignore any other part of my overall health!?

Below are just a few of the health issues that can arise from poor dental hygiene and what you can do to help prevent these outcomes.

Cardiovascular/Heart Disease

Bacteria from inflamed gums can enter your bloodstream and make it’s way to your heart through the arteries causing the arteries to harden and develop plaque around the inner walls. All of this may decrease, or even block, blood flow to the heart – increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Dementia

Gingivitis creates a bacteria that could possibly travel through the bloodstream or nerve channels in your head to your brain! This may even lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Respiratory Infections

New studies suggest that breathing in bacteria from infected gums and teeth over a long period of time may lead to lung infections and possibly even pneumonia.

Diabetic Complications:

Gum inflammation can actually make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. If you suffer from diabetes this dental health issue could actually worsen your symptoms.

Prevention:

I know all of that sounds pretty scary (and a little gross) but there are very simple ways to prevent these outcomes and I’m sure none of them will be a surprise to you. This is just your friendly reminder to take care of those pearly whites and your overall health!

  • Flossing – do it daily! Make it a part of your routine either in the morning, before bed or in the shower. Just do it!
  • Brushing – do it after every meal. 2 minutes is all it takes. Reduce tarter and plaque build-up, and prevent tooth decay and cavities!
  • Rinse – do it after brushing! Once a day should do the trick. Use an antibacterial mouth wash and rinse for 1-2 minutes.
  • Routine Check ups and Cleanings – do it every 6-12 months. Be proactive and stay on top of your check ups.

Lesson learned – my next appointment is already booked! Considering my love of coffee, red wine and clean treats I better get brushing…

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