Of course, your oral health affects your teeth, gums, and the other structures that make up your oral cavity. Many people, however, do not realize that oral health is strongly connected to a person’s general health. That’s right. The health of your teeth and gums can have a significant impact on the health of the rest of your body.
Why We Stress the Importance of Preventive Dental Care
The strong connection between oral health and general health is one of the primary reasons why we place such a strong emphasis on the importance of routine oral healthcare that is designed to achieve and maintain optimal oral health by addressing existing oral health problems and preventing other oral health problems from developing.
How Oral Health Is Related to General Health
Countless different strains of bacteria grow and thrive inside our mouths. Some of these bacteria are helpful, some are neither helpful nor harmful, and some can be very harmful. Oral hygiene and dental care directly impact the number of bacteria that are allowed to live and multiply inside the mouth.
With poor oral hygiene or a lack of professional dental care, people are at risk of developing periodontal disease (also called gum disease). Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and other internal oral structures that can occur when tartar (hardened plaque) accumulates on the surface of the teeth. This buildup pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria thrive. Left unchecked, the infection can spread from these shallow pockets into deeper pockets, into the periodontal ligaments that support the teeth, and even to the jawbone.
The bacteria from periodontal disease can spread through the bloodstream to the rest of the body, creating generalized inflammation. Periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk for systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, certain types of cancer, and reproductive health problems. Additionally, it increases a person’s risk of developing respiratory infections from inhaling harmful bacteria.
Preventive Dental Care Services With Our Dentist in Maumee, Ohio
The best way to safeguard your general health from issues that originate in the mouth is with preventive dental care. This includes a combination of at-home oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings and examinations every six months. Your complete preventive care routine should include:
- Biannual prophylactic dental cleanings (scaling and polishing)
- Biannual dental examinations
- Daily brushing (morning and evening) and flossing (at least once per day)
- Replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head as soon as it shows signs of wear
If you follow these recommendations but still struggle to maintain good oral health, we recommend also adding an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to your daily oral care routine.
Protect Your Health With Our Family Dentist in Toledo, Ohio
Whether you’re two, over 102, or somewhere in between, our dentist in Toledo can help you safeguard your oral health and your general health with comprehensive preventive and general dentistry.