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Why Dental Health Services Affect More than Your Teeth

Dental health services are about more than your health – they affect your overall being. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and protect your body.

Most of us know how important oral hygiene is for our overall confidence. But, did you know that dental health services are important for your overall health too?

For most people, their visit to the dentist is important because it’s a chance to get a clean and a check-up. For others, that trip might be dominated by the need for restorative dentistry.

Many others, meanwhile, will only visit the dentist the way someone would visit the last chance saloon – in desperation and only in case of extreme emergency.

Whatever the reason, your trip to the dentist can be much more important than you actually realize. In fact, it might even be the difference between life and death.

Dental Health Services and Overall Health

Your dental health is a key indicator of your overall general health. This is something both scientists and dentists know. The mouth – body connection is strong, powerful, and innate.

As a result, your dentist has a unique role to play in your life. Often, some diseases can be seen in the mouth before they fully manifest in the body. In some cases, your dentist is able to alert you of a potentially serious condition long before you even think you have one.

Combined with this, there are some conditions that some dental diseases are thought to cause. Wouldn’t it be better to diagnose, contain and treat these diseases before they cause harm elsewhere in the body?

Yes, it’s true. Dental health services are about more than your oral health – they affect your overall being. Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look?

5 Ways Dental Health Services Affect More than Your Teeth

1. Periodontal Disease is Linked to Serious Diseases in the Body

Your mouth is the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria. Normally, the majority of that bacteria are relatively harmless and great oral hygiene and your body’s natural defenses do a good job at keeping bacteria in check.

Without a good dental care regime – daily brushing, flossing, etc – your mouth is at risk from mild and major cosmetic trouble such as tooth decay and bad breath.

But, periodontal disease is another thing entirely. It can and does affect your overall health. In fact, scientists have linked periodontal disease to other more serious conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

They sound serious, right? So, how can this be?

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal or gum disease is a pathological inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support surrounding the teeth.

The two most common periodontal diseases are

  • Gingivitis – inflammation of the gum at the necks of the teeth
  • Periodontitis – inflammation affecting the bone and tissues of the teeth.

Serious diseases in the body have been linked to periodontal disease.

Scientists believe that inflammation can release toxins into the bloodstream and then help to form fatty plaques in arteries. The bacteria present in the mouth can cause the liver to make high levels of certain proteins, which in turn, inflame blood vessels.

Symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Red gums

When you know that a disease in the body can start in the mouth, dental health services instantly become supremely important.

2. Your Dentist Can Detect Sleep Apnea

Most of us have probably heard of sleep apnea, but how many of us know if we are subject to it every time we close our eyes?

Sleep apnea is the condition where the airway is blocked by the tongue and throat. In the majority of cases, when you suffer from sleep apnea, you may stop breathing for up to ten seconds or more at a time. Sounds like a cause for concern.

But, how do you know if you have sleep apnea?

Snoring, of course, is a major sign. But, not all symptoms are so obvious, and they’re certainly not as audible.

Enter your dentist.

Grinding your teeth at night? Clenching in your sleep? Dry mouth? Morning headaches?

Your dentist can make a determination and quickly guide you towards the treatment you need.

3. What about HIV?

In recent times, the HIV infection has transformed itself from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease. A Diagnosis made today comes with a much longer survival threshold and a better quality of life.

But, more than 1 in 8 people infected with HIV don’t know they have it.

Where do dental health services come into this picture?

Oral lesions are prominent features of the HIV virus and in many cases, dentists are the first people to spot these lesions. HIV infection in adults is linked with various types of periodontal lesions, as well as with possible exacerbation of preexisting periodontal disease.

What does this mean for you? It means that should there be any cause for concern, your dentist can be the first form of defense.

4. Crohn’s Disease

Many issues with the GI tract are preceded by oral signs.

Your dentist can sometimes spot the signs of Crohn’s Disease before symptoms make themselves known or just as symptoms are forming.

This can get you a quicker diagnosis, faster help and relieve your symptoms more readily.

Anything that helps treat something like Crohn’s Disease more quickly has got to be a good thing, right?

5. Oral Health for Confidence and Self-Esteem

Are you entirely happy with your smile? Do you panic when you see a camera? Do you ever feel the need to check your breath every time you speak to someone?

You are not alone.

Many people have reduced levels of confidence because of problems in their mouth.

Broken teeth and chipped teeth can crush your confidence and lower your self-esteem.

And what about halitosis? Bad breath can be the ultimate deal breaker when it comes to confidence.

Dental health services can address these problems and so much more. In helping increase your self-esteem, your dentist has a hugely powerful part to play.

Mouth-Body Connection

So, there you have it. Dental health services are so much more important than you may have ever realized.

Your trip to the dentist is about so much more than getting you the perfect set of pearly whites. It’s about you and your overall health as well.

After all, whether you know it or not, your mouth is always speaking, right?

The question is this: What exactly is it saying?