When you think about your smile, you probably consider it an important part of your appearance. However, you may not have realized that your oral health is an important aspect of your overall health as well. Problems with your teeth or gums can affect other areas of your body. As a result, good oral health is essential for maintaining your overall health.
The first way that your teeth are important for your overall health is your nutrition. Your teeth and bite are important for chewing. Fruits, vegetables, and other healthy, unprocessed foods often require thorough chewing. If you are missing teeth or if you are in too much pain to chew, you may not be getting adequate nutrition. Over time, you may develop vitamin deficiencies or other oral health problems.
Infections in your teeth or gums can also have a significant impact on your oral health. An abscessed tooth can harbor dangerous bacteria that can rush through your bloodstream and cause problems for your heart, lungs, or brain. If the infection is severe enough, it can even be fatal.
Periodontitis has been linked to clogged arteries, heart disease, and the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. Periodontitis is a serious form of gum disease that occurs over time when dangerous bacteria are not cleared by regular brushing and flossing. In addition to problems with the heart and arteries, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
There is also evidence that problems with your oral health can lead to other, seemingly unrelated, health problems. Poor oral health has been associated with osteoporosis and premature birth and low birth weight for pregnant women. In addition, premature tooth loss, such as tooth loss under the age of 35, maybe linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The best strategy for safeguarding your oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day and after consuming sugary foods or beverages, and to floss your teeth at least once a day. In addition, visit your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning at least once a year. Taking these simple steps can make a world of difference, not only for the looks and health of your smile but also for your overall health.