It may seem off that we spend so much time and attention looking after our teeth when we do not do this for any other part of our body. Our teeth do have a very useful purpose and therefore there are some important health benefits of looking after them.
Heart disease prevention
There have been links found between heart disease and tooth decay. It is not completely known why there is a link although there are some theories. It is felt that the oral bacteria present when you have gum disease may cause blocked arteries or even a stroke in some cases. This could be because of the inflammation that is caused by the infection in the mouth having knock-on effects for the rest of the body.
If you have a toothache or missing teeth, then it can make it more difficult to eat. This means that you may not be able to eat certain types of food and could therefore have a lack of nutrients. Not being able to properly chew food has been linked with not being able to properly extract all of the nutrients from it.
This shows that it is important to make sure that you look after your teeth and have regular dental check-ups. This could ensure that you do not cause serious health problems. It is also possible for a dentist to look at teeth and see signs of certain illnesses or diseases that may otherwise have not been recognized.
Diabetes causes the body to be less able to cope with infection. This means that the bones and gums that hold teeth in place may be less able to do so and teeth may be lost or loosened. A dentist may be able to pick up on this and suggest that a patient has a test for the disease.
Osteoporosis causes bones and teeth to be weak and brittle. It may therefore cause tooth loss as well as the loss of bone in the periodontal area. Signs of teeth or bone weakness may be picked up by a dentist and could lead to them suggesting tests for osteoporosis.
It has been found that losing teeth before the age of 35 could be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is not something that would necessarily be picked up by the dentist, they may notice if there is excess tooth loss.
So we can therefore not only see how important it is to look after our teeth but also how going to the dentist could help us to pick up on the signs of other health problems. A good dentist will ask patients about any new health problems they might have and medication they are on and if they suspect there are abnormalities that are a result of a medical condition that has not been picked up, they will make a recommendation to their patient to get it checked out by their GP.