Keeping up with your dental health isn’t just about your mouth. There are also important connections between dental health and your overall wellbeing.
- Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart that occurs when bacteria from other parts of the body, such as the mouth, enter the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.
- Heart disease. Some studies have linked heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke to inflammations caused by oral infections.
- Pregnancy problems. Premature birth and low birth weight has been linked to Periodontitis.
In addition, some outside health conditions can have an effect on your dental health, according to the Mayo Clinic. They include:
- Diabetes. Gum disease appears to be more frequent among diabetics. That’s because diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight off infection, increasing the risk of oral health problems.
- Alzheimer’s Disease. As Alzheimer’s progresses, oral health tends to deteriorate.
Maintaining good health
You can take action to maintain good health. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily; flossing is important after each meal; eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks; replace your toothbrush regularly, two to three times a year or whenever the bristles start to fray; avoid tobacco use, which can stain teeth and cause gum disease and cancer; and schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Dr. Rosenberg & Associates recommends an oral exam at least once a year. During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and check for cavities and gum disease. The dentist or hygienist will also evaluate your risk of developing other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities.