Why Is Oral Health So Important?

Oral Health

You already know that your oral health is important, otherwise you wouldn’t brush your teeth every day! What you might not know is just how important taking proper care of your mouth can be, and its improper care can negatively impact on many other parts of the body.

Why is dental health important?

Your mouth is naturally teeming with (mostly harmless) bacteria. Your body’s natural defences – like your saliva – coupled with good oral hygiene habits, are usually enough to keep this bacteria under control. However, if oral hygiene is neglected these bacteria can proliferate and can lead to oral health issues and disease. Periodontitis (gum disease) caused by poor oral health has been linked to a number of other health issues.

How does dental health affect overall health?

Dental health is always important, no matter how healthy you think you are. Severely neglecting your dental care can lead to:

  • Heart Problems: The harmful bacteria of your mouth can enter your bloodstream, travelling to other parts of the body, including your heart. This can cause infection of the heart’s lining. Inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria have also been linked to heart disease.
  • Diabetes: Because gum disease is an infection, the toxins produced by the bacteria can affect the body’s ability to metabolise carbohydrates. It can also increase insulin resistance and, therefore, glucose levels.
  • Jaw joint pain: Grinding your teeth, whether consciously or not, can negatively impact on the health of your jaw joint. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder can be caused by excessive teeth grinding putting pressure on the temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and can cause headaches, tightness in the area, and ear aches.
  • Respiratory Disease: An increase in harmful bacteria in the mouth means that there is a higher chance of inhaling harmful bacteria into the lungs, which can cause significant problems and infection.

How to Maintain your Oral Health

Check-ups

Sometimes, even our best attempts at a healthy diet and proper dental hygiene practice isn’t enough to keep that pesky decay at bay. That is why it is so important to visit your dentist one every six months for a regular check-up and clean.  Your dentist can thoroughly clean all the hard-to-reach places like between the teeth, and check for oral health problems that may be developing (like excessive plaque build-up, or decay). Having a regular dental check-up and clean every six months, means that if something is detected at an appointment, it will only be in its early stages and can be treated promptly. Regular dental check-up and cleans is your best shot comprehensive oral health.

How much does it cost for a dental check-up and clean?

All general dental practitioners will offer some sort of dental check-up and clean service, as it is a vital and common part of what they do. Depending on what the standard check-up and clean offers, the price may vary. However, you can expect an assessment, a scale and a polish in all.

Oral Hygiene

Taking care of your teeth mostly happens at home, and is largely up to you! That is why it is so important that you take proper care of your teeth. We cannot stress the importance, in particular, of flossing, which can help to catch food trapped between your teeth and prevent plaque build-up. Decay can occur between your teeth, too, not just on the chewing surfaces! It is also important that you replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months!

Nutrition

There are many foods that are detrimental to your teeth, like sugary or acidic foods, which can cause decay and upset the delicate pH balance. On top of this, your teeth require nutrients to function and to remain healthy. Ensuring that your body is properly nourished means properly nourished teeth. That means eating foods that are high in calcium, leafy green vegetables and lean proteins.

If you are interested in finding out more about keeping your oral health in top condition, or to make an appointment for a check-up and clean, please contact our friendly team on 3801 8799