Why Good Dental Hygiene Helps Prevent Serious Health Conditions

Good oral hygiene is one of the cornerstones of good health, and yet over 90% of American adults ages 20-64 have cavities. The benefit of good oral care is far-reaching.

Not only does taking care of your teeth and gums prevent plaque, gingivitis and other gum diseases, it also prevents more serious health concerns. Get the facts on the mouth-body connection and learn why practicing good oral hygiene is a key component to a long, healthy life.

Oral health is linked to overall health

Poor dental care can result in much more than stained teeth and a lackluster smile. The bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay can enter the bloodstream, cause inflammation, and wreak havoc on a wide variety of organs and tissues.

Over time, this bacteria can contribute to a number of serious health conditions. Read on to learn how oral infections negatively impact your overall health.

Heart health

When you fail to take good care of your teeth and gums, they can harbor harmful bacteria that hitch a ride in your bloodstream, triggering inflammation along the way. The bacteria can put your heart health at risk, promoting heart disease and increasing the chances of developing an infection of the heart.

Type 2 diabetes

Skimping on oral hygiene can also put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. There’s a link between oral health and blood sugar control. In a two-way relationship, poor blood sugar control allows harmful bacteria that cause gum disease to flourish, and having gum disease can make it more difficult to manage blood sugar. Keeping your gums and teeth healthy can keep blood sugar problems at bay.

Brain health

Practicing good oral hygiene can even protect your brain as you age. There’s a connection between cognitive health and healthy teeth and gums. Taking good care of your teeth and gums may help ward off cognitive decline and keep your brain functioning optimally.

The damage from gum disease doesn’t stop at cavities and gum inflammation. Your brain is vulnerable to the negative impact of low-level inflammation, too. The substances the body produces during a state of chronic inflammation can damage brain cells and lead to cognitive decline. This makes good oral hygiene important at every stage of life.

Tips for good oral hygiene

Follow these simple tips to maintain good oral hygiene, and by doing so, promote a healthy life.

Brush and floss regularly

Millions of bacteria live in your mouth and can adhere to your teeth and form a sticky film that hardens, making it crucial to brush your teeth daily. Removing the plaque that causes gum disease helps keep your mouth healthy.

Aim to brush twice daily. In addition to brushing, flossing helps remove residue and food particles that get stuck between the teeth. Make a habit of flossing at least once a day to keep your mouth clean and reduce bacteria.

Eat a teeth-friendly diet

The foods you choose to eat are just as important to your oral health as the foods you steer clear from. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other nutritious foods promotes oral health and stave off diseases.

At the same time, you should limit sodas, alcohol, and excess added sugar, all of which can feed harmful bacteria, erode tooth enamel, and put your oral health at risk.

Visit the dentist regularly

Regular dental checkups are an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Dental visits give your provider the opportunity to check your overall oral health and identify any problems. It’s recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year.

For exceptional dental care for the entire family, visit Dr. Kerry Bloom. At the office in Houston, Texas, Dr. Bloom is dedicated to changing lives one smile at a time. Call our office to schedule an appointment or book online today.

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