Oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your health on a daily basis. It can have an impact not only on your oral health, but on your entire body.
Oral Hygiene Can Prevent Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is when your gums become infected. Bacteria start out clinging to the surface of your teeth, but if they can develop enough of a protective biofilm, what we describe as “plaque,” they can begin to grow colonies below your gum line. The plaque at the gum line can harden, making it impossible to remove with normal brushing and flossing, and this hardened plaque then becomes a protective shelter for bacteria to grow and develop more. Periodontal disease is accompanied by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
As bacteria grow into your gums, they attack the bone and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. You will notice your teeth starting to loosen. At this point, you are beyond the help of normal hygiene and you need to see a dentist. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US, but it also threatens your entire body.
Effects of Gum Disease on Your Body
Gum disease has been linked to many dangerous health conditions. Bacteria enter your bloodstream and spread throughout your body. There are studies linking periodontal disease with preterm delivery and low birth weight. Research suggests that periodontal disease can contribute to kidney failure, and that kidney problems also make periodontal disease worse. Periodontal disease has also been linked to heart disease and stroke. Weaker evidence even suggests a connection between gum disease and impaired lung function.
Oral Hygiene Protects Your Teeth
Oral hygiene can also help protect your teeth from cavities and their potentially deadly consequences. When a cavity progresses inside your tooth, resulting in an infected tooth nerve, what is called an abscessed tooth, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, such as your sinuses and even your brain. Thousands of people visit the emergency room and dozens die every year as a result of such infections.
Don’t neglect your oral hygiene. Make sure you brush and floss at home. Make regular appointments with your dentist to ensure you are getting professional cleanings that can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you are overdue for a dental appointment, please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver today.