Link Between Oral & Overall Health
Did you know that there is a very strong correlation between your oral health and your general health? Many of our patients are surprised to discover that there is a link between the two. The fact is, what happens in your mouth does not just stay in your mouth – issues that can develop in there can quickly become systemic and spread to other parts of your body.
New research has demonstrated that poor oral hygiene is unfortunately associated with a vast myriad of health concerns, many of which can have devastating complications. We here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry strongly recommend that all of our patients practice good oral hygiene to help prevent these many dangerous health issues that can arise due to poor oral health.
What Health Conditions are Linked to Poor Oral Health?
Poor oral hygiene is not just a cosmetic concern. While it can certainly lead to an unattractive smile, the dangers of it are so much worse than that. Not taking proper care of your teeth and gums can quickly lead to both gum disease (including gingivitis and periodontitis) and tooth decay. If left untreated, an infection can develop inside the tooth or along the gumline. An infection inside the tooth, known as an abscess, can quickly turn lethal if it spreads to the brain or travels beyond the tooth.
The fact is, the bacteria in your mouth can quickly spread to other parts of your body if left unchecked. Poor oral health can lead to serious problems like cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are also correlated with serious tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, it has been recently demonstrated that when a lung cancer mass was biopsied, the same bacteria that are found in gum disease is also found inside the cancerous mass. This means that poor oral health can also lead to lung cancer, making practicing good oral hygiene all the more critical.
How to Brush and Floss Properly
You need to brush twice a day, both morning and evening. To brush properly, you will want to start with a toothbrush that uses soft bristles, and a quality toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gumline using short, sweeping motions. Brush your teeth for two minutes, making sure you get all surfaces.
It would help if you flossed at least once per day, either morning or evening. Start with an 18-inch segment of dental floss and work it between your teeth, making sure you also get up under your gumline. After you finish flossing one tooth, switch to a fresh section of floss to help avoid spreading bacteria around.
The Benefits of Regular Dental Exams
Not only can we provide you with a thorough cleaning that can remove any hardened buildup from your teeth (also known as calculus), we can also check to determine if your mouth is healthy or not. If we notice anything of concern, we can promptly address it to help ensure the best possible outcome for you. This can include not only tooth decay and gum disease, but also oral cancer and other oral health concerns.
If you are interested in learning more about the relationship between your oral health and your general wellness, we would love it discuss it with you further! To find out more, or to set up an appointment with us here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry, please give us a call today at 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000!