As many times as you’ve heard about the importance of brushing and flossing, you’ve probably never heard about some of the important ways taking excellent care of your mouth benefits your overall health.
At DentAlign NYC, Dr. Kenn Kakosian and our team want to help you enjoy optimal health. And to help you understand the importance of great oral hygiene, we’ve put together this list of eight unexpected benefits you get from taking care of your teeth and gums.
1. Improved gum health
Gum disease is a pervasive problem. When you have healthy gums, there is less risk of infection and tooth loss.
Harmful bacteria can build up on your teeth near your gum line, irritating your gums. Over time, that can lead to gum disease.
By brushing and flossing daily and visiting our office at least twice a day, you’re practicing excellent oral hygiene. You’re also protecting your gum health and decreasing the risk of losing teeth.
2. Less tooth loss
You may think that tooth decay is the reason most people lose teeth. While it can contribute, gum disease is a more likely cause. When you have gum disease, bacteria can cause an infection in the soft interior of your tooth.
Great oral hygiene keeps your gums healthy and protects your teeth.
3. Less risk of cardiovascular disease
Our patients are sometimes surprised to learn that there’s a link between cardiovascular disease and oral health. When harmful bacteria build up in your mouth and you develop an infection, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream, reach your heart, and cause significant problems. Experts estimate that your risk of a heart attack is almost 50% higher if you have gum disease!
4. It could be easier to get pregnant
Inflammation in a woman’s mouth can cause reproductive issues. In fact, gum disease may even inhibit your ability to become pregnant. One study found evidence that women with gum disease took about two months longer to get pregnant than women who didn’t have it.
5. Less risk of pregnancy complications
Once you become pregnant, you experience less risk of complications when you practice optimal oral hygiene and have healthy gums. Researchers have discovered a connection between gum disease and two pregnancy complications. Preterm birth (before 37 weeks) and low birth weight are more common in women with gum disease.
6. It might help you avoid type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem. It’s a chronic disease related to the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It can cause nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, blindness, and other serious health issues.
People who have gum disease are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Inflammation can decrease your body’s ability to properly process glucose.
7. Less risk of cancer
Researchers aren’t sure exactly why, but they have identified a link between gum disease and some types of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer.
8. Breathe easier
Just as the bacteria in your mouth can reach your heart through your bloodstream, it can also reach your lungs when you breathe. The bacteria that cause gum disease can also create respiratory infections like pneumonia.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is essential to staying healthy. If it’s time for your regular dental appointment, don’t delay. Schedule a visit at DentAlign NYC today!