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How Does Dental Hygiene Affect The Whole Body

As you have probably been told since you were a little kid, brushing your teeth, flossing regularly, and visiting a dentist every now and then is the best way to keep your gums and teeth healthy and your smile impeccable. However, it seems there’s more to it. The condition of your teeth can speak volumes about your overall health, and gum related problems are often a symptom of other, potentially more troubling health issues.

Heart disease

Recent research shows that there’s a connection between periodontal disease and an increased heart rate risk. It isn’t exactly clear why this is the case. Some experts even believe that there’s causality between the two. Periodontal disease increases inflammations, which could be a risk factor for a number of heart diseases. There’s also a possibility for bacteria from the mouth to find their way to the bloodstream and cause a heart condition by increasing the plaque build-up in the arteries. This, however, doesn’t prove that one causes the other. Nevertheless, those two diseases share a lot of risk factors such as unhealthy diet, smoking, and old age.

Diabetes

The conclusion is much clearer when it comes to the relationship between diabetes and gum diseases. It’s understood that one doesn’t cause the other, but peridontitis is a contributing factor for high blood sugar. Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to produce enough insulin, which is the enzyme that converts sugar into energy.  Periodontal disease is a form of inflammation and all inflammations cause additional stress to the pancreas, making it produce even less insulin. To make things worse, the inflammations are more common in people with high blood sugar, meaning that diseases are feeding off each other.

Mental health

Teeth and gum problems can cause serious body image issues, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Wearing braces can be a traumatic experience in itself, especially for young people. Luckily there are alternatives that can alleviate these problems and provide the same results as braces do. Using an orthodontist for invisalign provides the patient with more freedom and more options. They are easy to remove and virtually invisible. This helps with the body image problems and removes some of the stigma that comes with braces.

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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis makes the bones weaker which causes them to break more easily. It also has a direct link to dental hygiene and health. Weakened and damaged jaw bone is usually the first sign of bone density issues. It’s often manifested in teeth loss and increased dental and oral health problems. For some reason, this problem is more prevalent in women than in men. Luckily, there are numerous ways to deal with the issue. First of all, regular visits to the dentist will help you catch the disease sooner and prepare for it. Also, a well-balanced diet goes a long way; a lot of calcium and vitamin D is the key.

Dementia

The connection between bad teeth and dementia was long established, but until recently it was believed that bad oral hygiene was a by-product of dementia and not the other way around. Now, there’s a reason to believe that some bacteria originating in the mouth can find their way to the brain and cause dementia. The irony is that visits to the dentist, eating, and teeth brushing can actually help bacteria get to the brain. Good news is that the very presence of this kind of bacteria could be used to recognize the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Taking care of your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly isn’t just good for the dental hygiene, it’s also a way to detect or prevent many other, more serious diseases.

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