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Oral hygiene is not just limited to daily brushing and flossing – it extends beyond that. Your mouth says a lot about your overall health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to much deeper issues like tooth decay and gum disease. It can also directly or indirectly affect your other organs.
In general, oral habits like brushing and flossing can help keep bacteria under control. However, routine dental visits are critical to properly maintaining your oral health. We recommend dental exams and regular cleanings at least twice a year to maintain good oral hygiene and to improve quality of life.
Six Reasons Why Oral Health Is Important
There is a connection between oral health and overall health, so you need to understand the importance of good oral hygiene. Here are a few reasons to maintain good oral health:
1. Early Detection of Heart Problems – Several reports suggest poor dental health is often linked to diabetes, stroke, dementia, and cardiovascular diseases. Patients diagnosed with cardiovascular problems are known to have gum disease. Bacteria present in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and can cause inflammation in the blood vessels in the cardiovascular system.
Poor oral health can cause other health conditions, such as:
Low birth weight
2. Prevent Tooth Loss: Plaque buildup often caused by poor oral health can cause gum infection or tooth decay, leading to tooth loss. Regular brushing and flossing can help reduce plaque buildup to some extent, but make sure you are seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings to maintain good oral hygiene.
3. Detect Oral Disease – With regular dental examination, your dentist will be able to evaluate your dental conditions. These regular visits can help your dentist detect any oral health complications or oral conditions caused by oral diseases.
4. Reduces Risk of Cancer – Studies suggest that women between the ages of 54 and 86 are likely to develop cancer if they have a history of gum disease. Gum disease also increases risk of breast cancer, followed by lung cancer, gallbladder, and skin cancer.
5. Reduce Risk of Having a Premature Baby – Pregnant women with good oral hygiene are less likely to have a premature baby. Additionally, women with healthy gums are more likely to give birth to babies with high birth weight. Gum diseases tend to raise the levels of a chemical that induces labor and leads to a premature and underweight child.
6. Boost Your Confidence – By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can be confident in your smile. Although stained teeth usually poses no harm and tend to have little impact on the health of our teeth, they make you feel self-conscious. With regular cleaning, stains are easy to remove; however, more stubborn stains may need expert care. Many patients also suffer from bad breath, which is usually caused by the buildup of plaque (a symptom of gum disease and tooth decay).
Tips on Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day
Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing
Eat healthy food
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
Rinse your mouth with water after meals
Wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports