Everything is Connected: How Your Dental Health Affects Your Overall Wellbeing

in Overall Health by

So you have a cavity – how bad is it, really? You feel like you can probably let it go for a little while, right? I mean, it doesn’t even hurt! The trouble is, putting off dental intervention can have wide-ranging consequences you aren’t considering when you let it go. Today, I’m going to cover just a few.

Heart Disease and Diabetes

We associate a hardening of the arteries with fried foods and no exercise. However, you can probably add “no dentist” to that list as well. When you have periodontal disease, bacteria from your gums can travel to the arteries of the heart. This contributes to plaque buildup that increases your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

And the diabetics among us need to pay special attention to their dental health as well. Inflammation impacts blood sugar, and in fact, inflammation is what can cause type 2 diabetes in the first place. If you’re really serious about keeping your sugar stable, do everything you can to maintain healthy gums.

Self Esteem

When I discuss overall wellbeing, your emotional wellness definitely counts, too. Letting dental problems go may affect how often you smile, how close you let yourself get to other people, and ultimately, how much you like who you are.

Having any dental problems resolved as soon as you can will give you the feeling of freedom you need to move forward and feel better about your appearance. And who know – you may find yourself smiling more often, feeling more comfortable with expressing joy.

Immune System and Infection

I hate to say it, but one can die from an infected tooth. That takes the discussion of wellbeing completely off the table, doesn’t it? As we learned from heart disease, this infection can travel from the gums to other vital organs. If you suspect you have an infection, get to a dentist right away. Put your shame aside and accept that many of us have been there; I’ve researched emergency dental care near me several times!

Furthermore, infected teeth can worsen or increase the number of sinus infections you get. You may find yourself getting knocked down more easily by average colds and flus, and experience more pain in that area of the mouth than you do when you’re not sick. You’re overloading your immune system, which finds itself with too many tasks on the roster.

Other Considerations

Poor dental health is associated with many other health conditions. Gum disease is associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, pneumonia and lung infections, and is linked to osteoporosis. Anyone already with these conditions needs to develop a closer relationship to their dentist to get their gum health in order.

I hope I’ve made my case clear in our brief time together – dental health is overall health. Now’s the time to get your dental routine in order: floss and brush daily, quit smoking, and eat plenty of tough, fibrous fruits and vegetables to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy forever.