Keeping your mouth clean is essential for maintaining fresh breath, avoiding tooth decay and preventing problems like gum disease. Recent research, however, has led to the discovery of a stunning connection between good oral health and good health overall. According to this research, people with healthy, happy teeth and problem-free gums, tend to have a much lower incidence of heart disease, degenerative brain diseases, and other issues. So, how does oral hygiene benefit your overall health?
What Good Oral Hygiene Is And Why It Matters
Good oral hygiene is about far more than merely brushing the teeth. This includes properly flossing at least twice each day, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, and scheduling regular checkups with a trusted dentist. During these checkups, the teeth will be examined and cleaned to remove any trapped plaque and debris that has not been eliminated through at-home care. This also gives dentists the chance to spot minor issues like developing cavities, before these problems have the opportunity to spiral out of control.
Local Infections And Systemic Infections
During its formative stages, tooth decay is a localized problem. This is an infection that will only impact the related tooth structure and the surrounding soft tissues. If left unchecked, however, the bacteria that are responsible for this infection can also have a negative impact on nearby teeth and on the health of the gums. Moreover, infection can eventually enter the underlying bone, where it will ultimately result in bone deterioration and tooth loss. Finally, the infection can enter the bloodstream and become systemic.
Once systemic, tooth infection can result in the delivery of harmful bacteria to nearly all organs and organ systems. This is believed to be the underlying and often unidentified cause of many forms of illness. These include various forms of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. As such, people with severe tooth decay and a history of poor oral hygiene often have far lower levels of overall health than do those who work hard to maintain healthy mouths. Surprisingly, even the small steps that you take to keep your mouth clean today can have a significant impact on your life quality further down the road.