Your oral health – so your gums and teeth – is the gateway to the rest of your body. Gum disease and tooth decay can cause issues in your heart. Problems in your body may exhibit symptoms in your teeth. There is such a firm link between your health and your oral health:
Diseases and Conditions that Affect Your Oral Health
There are a few diseases and conditions that will affect your oral health and be part of their symptoms. Diabetes, for example, often causes frequent and severe gum disease due to the body’s reduced ability to resist the infections.
Osteoporosis is another condition that causes a lot of issues in your teeth and frequently results in tooth loss.
Chron’s Disease can cause ulcers, and blood disorders can cause frequent bleeding gums and other gum issues. Even Alzheimer’s Disease can affect oral health.
These are just a few of the many conditions that can affect your oral health, but you won’t automatically know or understand if your poor oral health is a result of an underlying condition or not until you visit a dentist.
Diseases and Conditions Caused by Your Oral Health
There are dental diseases to watch out for at every age, and the damage these diseases cause goes far more than just cosmetic. Cavities are just one of the more common issues that can happen. Left unchecked, a cavity can begin to decay and then start to poison the system through your bloodstream.
Then there is also gingivitis and gum disease, resulting in sensitive teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums. Left unchecked, these conditions can cause heart problems or blood poisoning, as well as cause serious pain and discomfort in the person.
How to Improve Your Oral Health
Improving oral health comes down to two things, good at-home habits and regular check-ups.
Good At-Home Habits
At-home habits are one of the most important aspects of your oral health. You will want to brush your teeth ideally after every meal, but for most, a good compromise is before bed and when you wake up. Flossing is, however, essential. Whether you use floss, a water flosser, or any other similar tool to do the job, remember that it is flossing that works to keep plaque and tartar from building up the most.
Regular Cleans and Check-Ups at the Dentist
Even with great habits, there is still reason to visit the dentist regularly. They have tools and means to remove plaque and tartar that you simply cannot use at home. They can polish teeth, remove stains, and, most importantly, check over your mouth and gums to note any problems and health issues you will need to address.
Ideally, you should see your dentist once every six months and at a minimum once a year for a regular check-up. A good way to keep these good habits is to make an appointment after your last appointment and have them call or text you a reminder a week or so before your appointment so that you remember or can reschedule for a better date.