It’s still early in the year and you’re looking to make improvements in your oral health, but did you know that this can also benefit your overall wellness as well? Your dentist in Renton says you’re definitely on the right track by deciding to focus on your dental care and will explain how taking the steps to prevent such conditions as gum disease play a role in maintaining the health of your heart and brain. To learn more about this connection and how to ensure your wellness, just continue reading.
Why is Oral Health Important?
Your oral health is important because everything in your body is connected in some way. One of the common denominators is that everything shares the same blood. Therefore, if you have an infection in your mouth, the inflamed blood circulates to other areas and can cause great harm.
How Oral Health Affects the Heart
One of the vital parts your oral health influences is the heart. Thus, when you’re suffering from advanced gum disease, one harmful effect is inflammation. And as the infected blood travels from your gums down to your heart, arterial plaque forms. This then inhibits the flow of oxygen from the heart, creating the equivalent of a traffic jam, but instead of just causing frustration from not being able to move, this can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Can Oral Health Affect My Brain?
Another detrimental effect of poor oral health is degeneration of your limbic system – the part of your brain that processes long-term memory. The problem is again caused by inflammation, which is your body’s natural response to infection. And with your brain being in such close proximity to your oral cavity, the effects can settle in quickly.
This is something that is definitely worth paying attention to, as scientists predict that the percentage of people with Alzheimer’s (neural degenerative condition) disease in America will increase by five percent by the year 2050.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Thankfully, there are some simple practices that you can engage in to prevent gum disease:
- Brushing your teeth – One of the most important aspects of your oral hygiene regimen is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. This removes the leftover food particles that attract bacteria and helps to reinforce the enamel on your teeth.
- Flossing – Equally as important as brushing your teeth is flossing. It allows you to clean in areas that the toothbrush can’t reach and also probe just under the gum line to eliminate bacteria and plaque.
- Visiting your dentist – The adhesive that holds everything together is the semi-annual visit to your dentist for cleanings and checkups. You will leave each appointment feeling brand-new, as any stubborn plaque and tartar that you haven’t been able to address with your oral hygiene routine will be removed from your teeth and along the gum line. Furthermore, your dentist and dental hygienist will thoroughly examine your mouth to make sure that there are no signs of gum disease or any other oral malady.
So now it’s clear that your oral health is about far more than just maintaining a nice-looking smile or having fresh breath. The only question to ask is, are you ready to take a proactive stance for your overall wellness? If so, start by reaching out to your dentist to schedule your first appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Sam DK Kim is a military veteran and general dentist who provides a comprehensive list of dental services. He has completed hundreds of hours of post-graduate training, which allows him to deliver the absolute best care to his patients at SDK Dental Care. Dr. Kim can be reached for more information through his website.