Maintaining a routine that ensures good oral hygiene is something that most of us learn to do at a very young age, but despite those constant visits to the dentist’s office and maybe even a set of braces for a few years, it’s easy to forget about the importance of your dental health.
But why exactly is it so important to pay attention to your oral health and to make sure that you’re brushing, flossing, and staying away from harmful foods and drinks?
When you lose your teeth for any reason, you’re more likely to suffer poor health overall; in fact, research has shown that people with a full mouth of healthy teeth are more likely to live longer. Here’s the deal: when you get inflammation and bleeding in your gums because of a buildup of plaque (known as gum disease), this is actually an infection caused by bacteria and it can spread to other teeth, causing tooth enamel to wear down (eventually leading to tooth decay) and causing the gums to become sore and swollen. In many cases, if this dental hygiene problem goes untreated for too long, teeth will decay so much that they need to be removed — but this doesn’t mean that the bacteria is completely gone. Your body will still be working overtime to fight off the infection, and it will use up resources that would otherwise aid unrelated health problems.
In some cases, poor oral hygiene may signal that a patient is dealing with other serious health conditions already, or is at risk of developing a health condition. Even conditions that are seemingly unrelated to your dental hygiene can show up in your teeth and gums, believe it or not. It’s common for women to develop gum disease while they’re pregnant, and dentists often find that patients with diabetes have worse dental hygiene than those without it.
Quite simply, your body’s health begins with each single tooth you have — so taking care of them is incredibly important!