For most people, our days start and end with the routine brushing of teeth. Brushing our teeth has been a habit instilled in us since childhood. As routine as the act is, have you ever stopped to consider why it’s so important to have good oral hygiene?
Our mouths contain billions of bacteria — which is normal! However, when we neglect to keep our mouths and teeth clean, these bacteria can get out of control and travel to other areas of the body and create inflammation or disease. When you keep up with simple oral hygiene practices like brushing or flossing, not only are you maintaining proper oral health, but you will also improve your overall body health by keeping these bacteria at bay.
Benefits of Good Oral Health
Avoiding bad breath and yellow teeth are just a few of the positive things that come from brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Oral hygiene should not be taken lightly because it can affect other parts of your body and overall health. Maintaining proper oral hygiene so that you can have the best oral health has many overall health benefits, including:
- Preventing gum disease – Gum disease is the most dangerous condition to have regarding poor oral health. It results from plaque build-up that forms around your teeth and can lead to swollen teeth, bleeding gums, and in worse cases, diminished bone structure. Other diseases and conditions like diabetes, increased rates of dementia, premature birth, and more are linked to gum disease. When you brush your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene, you are preventing plaque build-up in your mouth and thereby preventing gum disease.
- Preventing cavities – By regularly cleaning your teeth, you are scraping away plaque. Plaque eats away at your tooth enamel, which is the primary cause of tooth decay. Maintaining oral hygiene will get rid of the plaque before it can do any damage to your teeth.
- Reducing the chances of a heart attack or stroke – When you don’t clean your teeth regularly, the bad bacteria in your mouth can thrive. If these troublesome bacteria stay long enough, they can make their way into your bloodstream, and cause heart problems later on. Cleaning your teeth gets rid of these bacteria before they have the chance to spread.
- Increasing self-esteem – When you maintain good oral health, your teeth will stay clean and healthy. Healthy teeth make for confident smiles, which can raise self-esteem and make anyone feel good about themselves.
- Increasing positive mood – With a boost in confidence and self-esteem, someone’s overall mood can change to be more positive. Maintaining oral health with proper dental procedures has also been shown to enhance mood. Some dentists might use toxic mercury or BPA filled fillings, which can affect mental health — by seeing a professional that uses friendly material, your overall mood can become less negative and more constructive.
Diseases Associated With Bad Oral Health
On the flip side, when you don’t take care of your teeth, you become more susceptible to diseases because the germs in your mouth can lead to infections in other places of your body. Here are some diseases and conditions beyond gum disease that have been linked to poorly maintained oral health:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Pregnancy and birth complications
Oral Hygiene Tips
Now that you know how important oral health is to your overall health, here are a few oral hygiene tips on what to keep or add to your daily routine to achieve proper oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Eat a healthy diet with limited sugar intake
- Floss every day
- Quit Smoking
- Use mouthwash
- Use fluoride toothpaste
Most importantly, make sure to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings with your local dentist. While most of these preventative steps are done on your own, it’s still good to have a professional look at your teeth to make sure your oral health is up to par.
Dr. Justin Russo of Russo Dentistry provides outstanding dental care for clients in the Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina areas. He will help you take care of your teeth and maintain a healthy smile for a healthy and happy life.