Why your teeth matter to your overall health

Dentists and oral hygienists emphasize the importance of having regular check-ups and a clean every couple of months, and sometimes it feels difficult to fit into our busy schedules, but did you know your oral health is connected to your physical and mental health?

Studies have found that conditions such as heart infection and disease, stroke, pneumonia, and pregnancy and birth complications can be related to poor oral health. Even more concerning – Those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers may be at greater risk for poor oral health. 

At your regular check-up we are not just checking your teeth – It’s also the gums, bone, muscles and tissues of the mouth. For example, some people notice they get frequent headaches, which can be caused by persistent clenching of the TMJ or temporomandibular joint. Persistent pain has been connected to mental health issues low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. See more here.

Poor dental health limits people’s ability to eat, speak and the mental effects can ruin an individual’s ability to socialise. Diet plays a big role in all of this. Loss of teeth is directly related to poor diet and inadequate nutrition. Age is another factor – In Australia it was found that oral health deteriorates with age.

So how does it work? In the mouth you have good and bad bacteria. Problems occur when the bad bacteria builds up to overpower the good bacteria, with a poor diet supporting the build-up of bad bacteria. This causes your immune system to kick in, leading to inflammation in the mouth and around your gums. Over time, this entire process causes the decay of and deterioration of the teeth, gums and bone.

Knowing how the process works is key to helping prevent it. A chocolate or two can be part of a well-balanced diet, and coupled with regular brushing and flossing with a fluoride based toothpaste will help keep the baddie bacteria at bay. And of course, coming to see the familiar and friendly faces of your local About Smiles Dental Centre for a regular clean and check-up. Book an appointment today

Don’t forget to keep up to date and stay in touch with the rest of the team with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages @aboutsmilesdentalcentres

References:

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Oral-Health

Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

WedMD Oral Health; The Mouth-Body Connection – https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-the-mouth-body-connection

Oral health and dental care in Australia – https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/dental-oral-health/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/introduction

Outcomes and Impact of Oral Disease

Links between oral health and general health; The case for action – https://www.dhsv.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/2515/links-between-oral-health-and-general-health-the-case-for-action.pdf

The department of health; Outcomes and impact of oral disease