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How Does Dental Care Affect My Whole Body?

Posted on 09/13/2019

brushing teethWe’ve been taught all of our lives that dental care is important. Just as our eyes are the windows to our souls, the mouth has been compared to the window of our health. The condition that your teeth are in can actually tell you a lot about the condition of your body.

However, many of us don’t know exactly how brushing and flossing every day affects our bodies outside of the appearance and cleanliness of our mouths. Believe it or not, dental care impacts your entire body in a lot of beneficial ways. By brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, along with limiting sugar as part of a healthy, whole foods diet, you can prevent tooth decay and even disease throughout your body.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Brain?

When you have poor dental hygiene, it leaves your entire body susceptible to disease, many of which are otherwise preventable. Because your mouth has such a rich blood supply, an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth can make its way into the bloodstream. Although not proven as a cause, this has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life. One of the biggest causes of dental-related dementia is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene and leads to gum inflammation. This, if left untreated, can expose you to even more risks outside of dementia, such as tooth decay and sepsis – a blood infection.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Heart?

On the other hand, if the bacteria within your bloodstream decides to head south, it leaves you at risk for an abundance of other problems. Heart disease is one of the main concerns. Bacteria within the bloodstream can act like plaque, and if it builds up enough without intervention, it can lead to a heart attack. Scientists have found a direct correlation between poor dental hygiene and cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Lungs?

If the bacteria doesn’t manage to enter your bloodstream through your mouth, while eating or simply breathing, it can be inhaled into your lungs. Your lungs are one of the few places, like your bloodstream and bladder, that should be sterile, or free of bacteria at all times. However, by having an excessive amount of bacteria in your mouth due to poor dental hygiene, you risk exposing your lungs to it.. Once this bacteria has entered your lungs, it can leave you at risk of a variety of life-threatening respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.  This is one of many reasons why breathing through your nose is so important.

And, due to the fact that your lungs supply oxygen to your blood, once the bacteria is in your lungs, you also risk exposing your blood to it. This can then threaten your entire body, including your brain, heart, and even the reproductive tract.

dental healthHow Does Dental Care Affect the Rest of My Body?

Poor dental care can affect your reproductive system as well, especially in men. It has been proven that men with periodontal disease are more prone to developing a condition called prostatitis, an infection of the prostate. With this condition, your prostate becomes severely inflamed and irritated, leading to painful and urgent irritation and even pain in the perineum.

Increased oral bacteria (along with undiagnosed sleep apnea) can also increase your chances of developing erectile dysfunction. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and, like with your heart, clog up the arteries and veins. This can lead to inflammation that blocks blood flow. 

In women, poor dental hygiene has even been linked to pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can cause deterioration of the jawbone, has been shown to increase your chances of having a premature birth or a baby with low birth weight. 

While periodontitis, which affects an estimated three million people each year, is very common, it is also preventable so long as you take the time to practice proper dental hygiene by brushing and flossing every single day.  Since there is a genetic component to periodontitis, it is very important to see your dental team regularly to be sure that it does not develop, and if it does, to treat it right away. The good news is that if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is often very manageable with proper care.

How Can I Improve My Overall Health?

One of the best places to start with improving your health and wellness is with your mouth. As seen above, by practicing good dental hygiene, you can prevent a variety of diseases throughout your body. It can also reduce your risk of tooth decay and needed dentures or dental implants in the future.

Make sure to brush, floss, and use mouthwash at least twice a day. You can also try adding beneficial foods into your diet and even chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day to add an extra cleaning time. Most of all, make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. Contact our practice today or give us a call at (614) 344-9147 to set up an appointment and start your journey to a healthy smile and body. 

Common Mistakes Dental Patients Make

Posted on 07/16/2019

Dental care is one of the most important parts of your general health and wellbeing. The condition of your teeth can say a lot about your health, which is why it is so important that you brush, floss, and see a dentist regularly. However, even if you do follow these steps, you may find that your teeth still aren’t up to par. While it is possible that an underlying condition is causing your dental problems, more often than not, it’s because of simple mistakes that nearly everyone makes. 

Most of the common mistakes dental patients make are, thankfully, easy to fix with just a few lifestyle changes. The top three most common mistakes are incorrect flossing, a lack of regular check-ups, and even smoking during the dental implant process. 

Flossing

Flossing is one of those parts of dental care that almost everybody forgets, even though it is so important. Every dentist recommends flossing due to its abundance of benefits. 

Why Should I Floss?

It’s easy to think that just brushing and using mouth wash is enough to keep your mouth clean, but flossing does more than just make your teeth shine and prevent bad breath.  Regular flossing removes plaque and prevents tartar build up. In doing so, you reduce your risk for periodontal – or gum – disease, and it’s even theorized that it can reduce your risk of heart disease. 

How Do I Floss Correctly?

Flossing incorrectly most definitely earned its place as one of the most common dental mistakes. While you should floss at least once a day, most people who do follow this rule don’t know how to floss correctly.

First, cut a large piece of floss, around 18 inches, and wrap each end around your middle finger. Next, hold it between your forefingers and thumb tightly; this is what you will use to floss. Guide the floss between your teeth and, using a C-shape, rub. Repeat for every tooth.

The most important thing to remember is to be gentle. While bleeding is common, especially in people who don’t floss regularly, you shouldn’t injure yourself.

Regular Check-Ups

Much like with any other doctor, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. Your teeth may look okay, but only a trained professional will know what to look for when it comes to dental health and disease. 

Why Should I Have Regular Check-Ups?

Regular check-ups will help keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Not only does this give you the opportunity for a regular cleaning that will help reduce plaque and tartar build-up, but it will allow your dentist to stay updated on your dental health and to catch any issues before they become complications that are costly and risky to fix. Regular check-ups can improve your overall dental health, which, like with flossing, will improve your general health and lower your risk of disease in the future. 

How Often Should I Have a Check-Up?

While it varies for each person, and your dentist may require more appointments during the year if you have specific issues, the average person should visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year – every six months. 

If you happen to miss an appointment, then you may find that your dentist will have to do more work in order to catch up. This can include extra X-rays, more appointments, and even dental procedures to teeth that have decayed or been damaged since your last visit. 

What Should I Expect?

During a general check-up, your dentist may renew X-rays, perform a cleaning, and, if needed, schedule you for more procedures such as fillings, root canals, and even dental implants. 

Dental Procedures Aftercare

After dental procedures, it is important to follow the instructions for aftercare carefully to prevent any complications. You can contact our practice to learn more about our dental procedures.

What Should I Avoid After Dental Procedures?

The main thing to remember after any dental procedure is to avoid disturbing the wound. This includes everything from rinsing your mouth to spitting and even to smoking. 

Why Should Smoking be Avoided?

Smoking during the healing process of dental implants is one of the biggest mistakes that patients make. Often times, though, it can be hard for a patient to avoid smoking. Smoking during the healing process can cause an abundance of complications, including an increased failure rate. 

How Long Should I Wait to Resume Smoking?

The longer you can wait the better, but to allow enough time for the implants to settle – a process known as osseointegration – you should wait at least two to three months. You should also try to stop smoking at least a week before your procedure. 

Contact us at 5 Points Advanced Dentistry today at 614-344-9147 to schedule your routine check-up, or if you have any questions or concerns about proper dental care. 

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