When most people think of “good oral hygiene,” they think of white, perfect teeth, but did you know oral hygiene goes beyond a pretty smile? New research is linking oral health with your body’s overall health. Various diseases and deficiencies are accompanied by oral symptoms. Regular dental visits not only help maintain overall oral health but can also tell your dentist a lot about your overall health.
The Link Between Oral Hygiene and Overall Health
Recent research on oral and general health have shown a link between the two. With more than 90% of systemic diseases having oral symptoms. These symptoms can include swollen gums, sores, ulcers, dry mouth and more! The following diseases are an example of a systemic disease which has symptoms expressed in the mouth:
- Oral cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
Research has also shown that poor dental hygiene and gum disease can directly increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and even stroke. Women with poor dental health have also shown higher rates of preterm and low-birth-weight children.
Symptoms of Poor Oral Hygiene
Bad breath isn’t the only symptom of poor dental care; there are many ways your body may tell you that you need to spend more time brushing and flossing. Here are a few of the symptoms to look for if you think you need to improve your overall oral hygiene:
- swollen, painful, red gums
- gums bleed when eating, brushing and/or flossing
- there are signs of pus around teeth and/or gums
- gums are receding
- frequent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- loose teeth or migrating teeth
How to Improve Oral Hygiene
Just because you have suffered from poor oral hygiene in the past does not mean you have to continue on that path. There are various ways you can improve your oral hygiene. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day also. Mouthwash can be a useful oral hygiene tool as long as it is not over-used and does not contain alcohol and other chemicals that can cause dry mouth. Along with at home care, we recommend routine dental visits, diagnostics, and cleanings.
Make poor oral health a thing of the past, with Main Street Dentistry’s dental services. With new research, oral health is more important than ever. Ensure a healthy future for yourself and take good care of your mouth!