Dental Health and Your Overall Health

When you think about staying healthy, you might not often think about your dental health. But, you might be surprised how much your teeth and gums matter to your overall health.

Why is it Important to Keep your Teeth Healthy?

Healthy teeth and gums are about much more than appearance. Our mouths are always filled with bacteria, but having too much bad bacteria caused by plaque can lead to health problems in other parts of your body. And bacteria isn’t just dangerous for your teeth. Not caring properly for your teeth leads to gum disease (periodontal disease), which causes a host of other problems. When you keep bad bacteria out of your mouth, you avoid these risks.

How can Gum (Periodontal) Disease Effect My Overall Health?

Gum disease is very dangerous to your health. When bacteria causes inflammation in your gums, it also causes inflammation in the rest of your body and weakens your immune system. Studies have even showed a link between gum disease and heart disease: people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. There is also a link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Both these conditions are caused by chronic inflammation, and there is evidence that people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have gum disease. When the gum disease is properly treated, arthritis pain and symptoms decrease.

What Foods are Healthiest for my Teeth and Gums?

What’s bad for your dental health tends to be bad for your overall health, and what’s good for your dental health tends to be good for your overall health. For example, to prevent plaque and gum disease, it’s a good idea to avoid high-sugar foods, soda, and sticky candy. High-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables and high calcium foods like yogurt and cheese are great for your teeth and the rest of your body.

How Can I Avoid Tooth Decay and Gum Disease?

You exercise and eat healthy to keep your body healthy, and it’s just as important to take preventative measures to keep your mouth healthy. These include:

● Brushing twice a day

● Flossing once a day

● Not smoking

● Replace your toothbrush every three to four months

● See the dentist regularly (once every six months)

● See the dentist immediately for any dental emergency

● Eat healthy meals and avoid snacking throughout the day (to keep bacteria out of your mouth)

Taking these simple steps can prevent many dental health problems and protect your overall health as well.