Oral health is an important facet of overall health and wellness. Apart from preventing the development of diseases affecting the teeth and gums, good oral health can help improve your quality of life and keep other health conditions at bay. However, a significant number of individuals often ignore good oral health practices, usually because oral health problems don’t appear until it’s too late.
A 2015 study found that about 53% and 76% of male and female Canadians respectively brush their teeth more than once a day. However, the same study found that another 37% and 21% of male and female respondents brush their teeth once a day, which is below the recommended two times a day.
There are many benefits to practicing good oral health, which includes making regular visits to your family dental clinic, brushing regularly and properly, and eating a good diet. Check out some of the benefits of focusing on your oral health.
1. Helps to prevent periodontally (gum) disease
One of the most common effects of poor oral health practices is periodontal or gum disease and dental caries. When you don’t brush or floss regularly, you allow the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Over time, these bacteria often cause infection and inflammation around the gum and bone tissues surrounding the teeth. Eventually, the gum tissue supporting the teeth becomes weak, causing teeth to come off.
Additionally, gum disease often functions as a gateway to other problems, which may include recurrent infections, diabetes, and respiratory issues.
2. Good oral health for the prevention of heart disease
Until recently, scientists couldn’t identify the specific role of oral health and cardiovascular problems, even though poor oral health was a suspected contributing factor. However, recent studies have shown that bacteria and other germs play a large role in the development of the cardiovascular disease. One study found that bacteria that are native to the mouth can travel from the mouth, through the bloodstream, and into the blood vessels and tissues of the heart, causing inflammation and diseases such as endocarditis.
Another study found that oral bacteria play a main role in causing atherosclerosis – or clogged arteries – in adults.
3. Improve and maintain the cosmetic appearance
When unwanted oral bacteria aren’t making you sick, they’re usually busy working against your smile or fresh breath. Poor oral health may lead to weak or discolored teeth and gums as the bacteria destroy tissue and bone that are supporting the teeth. Weak teeth may come off or break, which compromises your healthy smile and reduces your self-esteem.
Poor oral health also goes hand in hand with bad breath, which makes it difficult for you to carry out a conversation without getting “the look” from peers and workmates.
4. Improve overall health and wellness
Oral health also makes a direct contribution to your overall health and wellness. When bacteria invade your teeth and gums, the resulting inflammatory response by your body makes it hard and painful to chew. This makes it difficult for you to consume fresh, healthy meals, which reduces negatively affects long-term health.
Plus, when you don’t chew food properly, you open yourself up for many health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal failure, and gestational problems for expectant women.
5. Prevent expensive and invasive corrective procedures
Finally, when affected teeth and gums have become so damaged for passive, individual correction, you’ll often need to have one or more dental procedures to correct the problems. Issues such as misaligned teeth, damaged jaws, infected and inflamed gums, and other related problems will often require a visit to a dental practitioner or surgeon because they may affect chewing or even speech. Sometimes, the procedures to fix such problems require an invasive procedure, which can leave you sore and unable to enjoy life for weeks.
Many of these orthodontic procedures are also often expensive, which can dent your pockets and make it difficult to achieve your goals.
Prevention is always better – and cheaper than cure. Floss at least once every day, brush two or three times daily, use a good toothbrush, and remember to visit your dentist every year or at the first sign of a dental problem.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.