Here at Larson Dental, we want patients to know about the increasing evidence which shows a link between oral health and general health. But beyond simply wanting to take care of your body to stay healthy overall, here are 7 surprising reasons from Dr. Seth Larson why dental health matters for general health.
New studies have shown that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. However, what is even more surprising is that serious gum disease may actually contribute to the ability to control blood glucose. Accordingly, because periodontal disease is an infection, the bacteria produced can create toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in cells. Considering the recent rise in rates of diabetes, this makes proper oral health even more important.
Regular checkups with a dentist and hygienist become even more important during pregnancy. Oral health studies show that pregnant women with poor oral health may be at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies than pregnant women with good oral health. That being said, this is all the more reason for women who are pregnant to take exceptional care of their teeth.
Studies link oral inflammatory disease with an elevated risk for heart disease. According research, people with periodontal disease have twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack than people without periodontal disease. Moreover, extended bacterial exposure from gum disease can lead to cardiovascular disease as inflammation levels throughout the body increase.
As part of regular checkups, dentists check all soft tissues to ensure mouth tissues are healthy. Additionally, dentists are trained to do a cancer screening as part of ongoing dental checkups, by inspecting the gums, tongue, lips and cheeks for any signs that are suspicious or unusual.
A precancerous lesion can begin as a small white or dark red patch that may not be causing you any noticeable symptoms. When you consider that only about one-half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years, detecting cancer early becomes even more crucial.
Brushing your teeth signals you have finished eating and may help patients who are trying to lose weight with portion control. So have a healthy meal and before you are tempted to over-eat, go and brush your teeth. This will tell your brain to signal to your appetite that mealtime is over. Over time this can help patients lose weight and feel healthier!
Studies are also linking poor oral health to the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease, Osteoporosis, and other dangerous diseases. So keeping those choppers clean and healthy may mean more than just a few cavities. Keep your mouth clean and healthy for your overall health as well as your dental health!
Patients with missing or damaged teeth have increased odds for mental issues like depression, anxiety and lack of self-esteem.
Oral health should be a priority for patients and if it wasn’t before, all the reasons stated above should make it so. We believe patients need to make dental health and hygiene a top priority, not just because of the overall health risks, but because they enjoy the overall benefits of good health. To get started on your journey to a healthy smile, contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Larson!