A beautiful smile endears you to other people, but your mouth is so much more than a way to show off your winning personality. It is a gateway to the rest of your body, and when your teeth and gums are healthy, the rest of your body is likely to be healthier as well. Your dentist in Renton is here to explain the fascinating link between your oral health and your overall health.
Poor Oral Health Puts Your Entire Body at Risk
Some people assume that while poor oral health is unattractive and inconvenient, it can’t seriously affect your quality of life. That assumption is wrong. When oral health deteriorates far enough, it opens the way for diseases to ravage the rest of the body.
For example, periodontitis (advanced gum disease) allows bacteria to sneak into the blood stream through the gums. That bacteria can significantly increase the chances that a person will suffer from cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, and preterm birth. Gum disease can also make diabetes more difficult to control.
The best defense against periodontitis is a good oral healthcare routine. By brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist at least twice a year, you can protect both your smile and your overall health. Also, if you have crooked teeth, which can increase the chances of gum disease, your dentist can help you get those chompers into their proper places via Invisalign.
Your Mouth as a Diagnostic Tool
The mouth-body connection is a two-way street. If you’re suffering from certain conditions, your mouth may contain clues that help your doctor or dentist detect what is going on in the rest of your body. Here are a few examples of how the mouth reveals things about your overall health:
- A dry mouth can indicate diabetes.
- Eroded enamel may signal regular vomiting, a sign of acid reflux disease and other digestive problems.
- Prematurely worn teeth, caused by bruxism (teeth grinding) is a common sign of severe stress.
- Bad breath or sweet breath can point to diabetes, certain cancers, kidney problems, and other serious medical issues.
When your dentist spots any of these warnings signs, they’ll ask you questions and may refer you to a physician so you can find out more about what is going on in your body. If your health condition poses an ongoing threat to your oral health, you may need to start seeing your dentist more often that twice a year.
A problem-free smile is priceless! It protects the rest of your body, and it is a sign that your overall health might be doing very well. By making regular visits to a “dentist near me,” you can stay sound from teeth to toes.
About the Dentist
Dr. Sam DK Kim is passionate about providing top-notch general dentistry services to folks in Renton and the greater Seattle area. If it’s time for your next appointment, or you just have questions about how to care for your smile, you can contact our office at 253-277-8767.