Louis Armstrong once sang ‘Smile and the whole world smiles with you’, and never a truer word was spoken. Smiling is a great reliever of stress, and a hugely important factor in our attractiveness to others. It’s a proven fact that smiling not only makes us feel better about ourselves, but also those around us and keeping our smiles healthy is one reason why so many people are encouraged by dentists to make the effort to visit regularly.
But a healthy mouth is not just intrinsic to the way we look, it can also have a positive effect on our overall state of health. While keeping our teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing, and visits to our practice helps to ensure our smiles remain bright and attractive, good oral hygiene reduces the risk of developing serious illness in other areas.
This is especially true of the heart. The most vital of organs can be badly affected by chronic gum disease, as plaque build-up – a major factor in gum disease – can stretch underneath gum tissue and allow bacteria to enter the blood stream where it binds with fat proteins. These proteins can build up, leading to clogged arteries which can obstruct the flow of blood around the body and could eventually trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Poor oral hygiene and health has been attributed to infections in other parts of the body too. Research surrounding links between infection and oral health has revealed connections between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis and also memory loss in later years.
Diabetics too can be affected by poor oral health, as the condition often leaves the sufferer with a less efficient auto-immune system, making them more susceptible to infection and so gum disease is often more prevalent in diabetes sufferers.
There are other areas where poor oral health can have an effect on a person’s overall health, including pregnancy, so it is important that regular dentist visits are made to address any problems, and also maintaining a strict dental hygiene regime involving brushing with a good toothpaste, flossing regularly and rinsing with mouthwash. Dietary changes can also help effect good dental health.
With good oral health intrinsically linked to good physical health, it has never been more important to visit a dentist – not only to safeguard your smile, but also to safeguard your overall health. Contact our caring dental team at the office of Dr. Taskonak to schedule your next visit.