By Clara Carol
Regularly brushing your teeth twice, followed by flossing and periodic dental checkups are a great way to ensure healthy gums and teeth. But is this sufficient for a healthier you? In addition to all these dental practices, maintaining a good oral hygiene also plays a vital role on your overall health. Let’s examine below the connection between Oral Hygiene and overall Health.
Cavities, tooth loss and sore gums are largely considered a result of poor oral hygiene. What they do not realize is that poor oral hygiene also causes adverse effects on your overall health and well being. The truth is that if you do not take complete care of your oral hygiene, there are chances one will be subject to more serious consequences that go beyond mere toothache or some unsightly tooth stains.
Mentioned below are five health ailments that are directly connected to unhealthy oral habits.
1. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is characterized by affecting the soft tissues of your mouth including tongue, lips, internal lining and floor of your mouth. If left untreated, it can also spread to the other parts of your body. If ignored oral cancer may even lead to facial disfigurement. You are at a potential risk of developing oral cancer if you are an abusive alcoholic drinker, you consume tobacco or if you are infected with the human papillomavirus.
Majority studies reveal a two-way relationship between diabetes and gum diseases. For any person suffering from diabetes with a high blood sugar and gum diseases, will face a tough time controlling his diabetes as chronic inflammation in the mouth poses a challenge for the body in respect of controlling its metabolism of sugar. You can however prevent your gum diseases by practicing good dental habits and maintaining dental hygiene.
3. Heart Diseases
Irrespective of studies that have associated bad oral hygiene with major heart diseases, no certain “cause and effect” relationship between the two has yet been established. However, it is always advisable to maintain a proper oral health, especially if you are a heart patient.
People aged 80 or above, residing in a retirement home or any long-term facility are at a much greater risk of developing aspiration pneumonia if they by any means practice bad oral hygiene. It is very easy for them to build up dental plaque or bio-film inside their mouth, which they can very easily breathe down into their lungs along with the harmful bacteria. These bacteria can ultimately lead to pneumonia that can prove to be very serious for people above 80 years of age.
5. Tooth Decay
Your bad oral hygiene practices if left untreated and unlooked can cause some very serious cases of severe tooth decay. Untreated hygiene problems can even spread and affect other parts of your body including your brain and your eyes. Majority of untreated tooth and gum problems ultimately transform into abscess, which can later cause swelling and might as well compromise on your ability to swallow or even to breathe openly. The worst case scenario of bad oral hygiene problems can even transform into life threatening health hazard.
– Clara Carol is practicing dentist in New York. She loves to write when finds time she has written various articles pertaining to dental hygiene and overall health for various online health blogs and e-magazines.