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Why Dental Health Is Important For Your Future


When it comes to dental health, the sentiment “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more true! Dental health is extremely important for your current health as well as your future health down the road. Personal daily habits like brushing your teeth and flossing, as well as regular dentist appointments, are crucial for maintaining a healthy mouth and in turn, a healthy body. Taking care of your teeth today is an investment in your future — and a preventative measure against all types of ailments. Here are a few reasons why dental health is so crucial to overall health.

Gum Disease Is Linked To Many Health Conditions

When most people think about gum disease, they usually only think about side effects like bad breath or overgrown gums. But unhealthy gums are a Pandora’s box that can lead a host of health conditions.

For starters, Gum disease is linked to heart disease and stroke. Gum disease is a form of inflammation, and when it comes to the human body, we are usually trying to mitigate inflammation. While there is no definitive causation, the The American Academy of Periodontology reports that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart is believed to be caused by bacteria from other places in your body (such as your mouth) that makes its way to your heart.

Gum Disease Can Aggravate Existing Health Conditions

For those who already are experiencing health challenges, gum disease or periodontitis can exacerbate your symptoms. For example, diabetic individuals who also suffer from periodontitis have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar. In turn, diabetic individuals are more likely to develop gum disease in the first place. They cycle repeats itself.

Researchers have also found that gum disease can aggravate the symptoms of those who suffer from arthritis.

In addition, some studies have concluded that gum disease bacteria can make you more likely to contract lung infections like pneumonia.

Unhealthy Gums Can Affect Your Future Baby

Research suggests a relationship between gingivitis and premature or low birthweight infants. Research published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the bacteria that causes inflammation in the gums can actually enter the bloodstream and target the fetus, which can potentially lead to premature labor or low birth weight.

Healthy Teeth Can Decrease Risk of Certain Cancers

Not taking care of your teeth can lead to tooth loss. And tooth loss not only affects eating and speaking, it can increase your risk factor for several types of cancer. Japanese researchers found that tooth loss can increase your chances of esophageal cancer, head and neck cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and lung cancer. What is even more alarming is that the research found that each tooth lost to decay increased the risk factor proportionally. Another study, this one done at Harvard, concluded that men who had periodontal disease had a 63 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

What You Can Do About It

If these statistics scare you, take comfort in this, you can improve your dental health starting today. Establishing good habits and visiting the dentist regularly is key. Consult with your dentist about any dental services you may need to achieve a healthy smile. And remember, a healthy mouth leads to a healthy body.

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