Taking good care of your gums and teeth is a worthy goal itself. Good oral health can help to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. But good oral health is also crucial for good overall health.
Unhealthy teeth and gums can increase your risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It can also impact your ability to adapt to healthier behaviors. Despite these risks, every year up to 100 million Americans doesn’t visit the dentist.
Here are a few reasons why you need to start with your dental health if you’re ready to live a healthier lifestyle.
Inflamed gums can impact your blood sugar
Your oral health is a gateway to the rest of your body’s health. Dental issues and gum problems can indicate internal issues. After all, your mouth is a part of your digestive system.
When bacteria build up in the teeth, your gums become prone to infection. Of course, your immune system will attack the infection, but this inflames your gums. The chemicals that are released by the inflammation will slowly eat away at the gums themselves and the bone structure holding your teeth in place if left untreated.
This severe result is caused by gum disease or periodontitis, which is more common in people who don’t take proper care of their teeth. In fact, both dogs and cats show signs of having periodontal disease by the age of three.
Gum disease and inflammation can also cause issues in the rest of your body. For instance, inflammation that begins in the mouth can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
This is why the periodontal disease can complicate diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body’s ability to use insulin. When you control oral health problems, it makes it easier to control other health problems like diabetes.
Bad bacteria from your mouth can increase the risk for heart disease
When you brush or floss your teeth when you have inflamed gums due to gum disease, you can release some of that bacteria into your bloodstream. The bacteria in your bloodstream can end up in different areas and one of these areas is where plaque forms in the arteries.
As plaque builds up in the arteries, the bacteria can add to clot formation. This increases your risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and heart disease.
When you go to the dentist regularly and take proper care of your teeth, you can fight back against gum disease and even reverse it before it can become too severe. This would reduce your risk of heart problems so you can focus on other heart-healthy activities to improve your cardiovascular health.
Abnormal bites can impact what you eat
Experts recommend starting orthodontic treatment at the age of seven because abnormal bites will usually become noticeable between the ages of six and 12. Crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites can affect how you chew.
You might favor softer foods to avoid dental pain, which limits the types of foods you can include in your diet like fruits and vegetables. If you have an abnormal bite and you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle, you may want to consider orthodontic treatments.
It’s always a good idea to do what you can to improve your health. But before you focus on your diet and exercise routine, it’s important to make a note to improve your oral health, too.