Why Your Dental Hygiene Reflects Your Overall Health
Most people don’t realize that your oral or dental health is a huge indicator of your health in general. That means your mouth, teeth, and gums have an immense effect on your overall health. Luckily, you can protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your dental hygiene and your overall health.
The Relationship Between Your Oral Health and Your Overall Health
Keep in mind, like other parts of your body, your mouth is filled with bacteria. While most of your mouth’s bacteria are harmless, they can accumulate and create problems, and even cause a disease in another part of your body. This is because your mouth is the entry point to your respiratory and your digestive tracts.
Usually, your body’s innate defenses along with good oral hygiene such as daily brushing and flossing are enough to keep bacteria in line. Yet without good oral hygiene, bacteria can grow to levels that can lead to oral infections including toothy decay, cavities, gum disease and even cause the following diseases:
- Cardiovascular disease: While the connection is not completely understood, research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke may be linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.
- Endocarditis: This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valve (endocardium) usually occurs when bacteria or germs from another part of your body such as your mouth travel through your bloodstream and attach to specific areas in your heart.
- Pneumonia: Bacteria in your mouth can travel into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
- Pregnancy and birth complications: Contracting periodontitis has been linked to premature and low birth weights.
What Good Dental Hygiene Look Like
Good dental hygiene is the cornerstone of dentistry because good oral health translates to good health overall. Dental issues like cavities and gum disease can be avoided with daily dental hygiene and preventative care through dental cleanings every four to six months.
Dr. Ruiz and Rightway Dental know just how important oral health and dental hygiene is and they discuss it here:
First, during your cleaning, one of our hygienists will clean your teeth. Next, they will use special tools to remove built-up plaque and tartar that you cannot remove with a toothbrush. After this, your teeth will feel smooth and shiny. This preventative tool stops future plaque from sticking to your teeth.
Next, Dr. Ruiz will look at your teeth and mouth, and likely review an x-ray of your teeth during an in-office exam. She will be able to tell if there are any areas you both need to watch. If she can, she will treat them with preventative care such as giving you a prescription toothpaste to stop decay before it becomes a cavity. Treating a dental problem early is the key to stopping
future problems that may cost more time and money. Using preventative care is the best way to keep your smile beautiful and healthy.
There are several oral hygiene habits that you can practice as often as twice a day (morning and evening before bed) including brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash. At Rightway Dental, we realize the importance of caring for your smile over time. By emphasizing our preventative care services, we proactively teach our patients the best ways to care for their smiles at home and in the office. We offer many services that can help you in the office. Here are some of those ways:
Sealants and Fluoride
Foods with a lot of carbs like chips and pasta or sugary drinks like soft drinks can hurt your teeth. If you fail to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking, carbs turn into sugars and then into acids. These acids, along with bacteria, build up on and around your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth often the bacteria and acids can wear down the outer layer of your tooth or in some cases teeth. This affected outer layer is your enamel. Another way your enamel can be damaged is from tea or coffee and brightly colored fruits. These drinks and fruits can greatly break down your enamel and the look of your smile.
Your teeth may look yellow due to tea or coffee drinking, and your sub-layer, called Dentin, is also yellow. How can preventative dentistry help you? At Rightway Dental, we use sealants and fluoride to help your teeth look their best. We usually give sealants to kids to make their enamel stronger on their back molars. This preventative tool covers the areas where some children may miss when brushing their teeth. Similarly, fluoride works great on adults. You can get this through toothpaste, tap water, and during a Rightway dental check-up. Both treatment options are used as preventative care to stop the development of tooth decay and its problems early on.
At Home Care
Lastly, good preventative care is not just at our dental office but also continues at your home. Our goal at Rightway Dental is to provide you with the tools to care for your oral health when you are away from our practice. For the best oral health, use preventative care techniques such as brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each and flossing your teeth once per day. Another preventative tip is to drink water along with sugary drinks or
teeth-staining drinks like tea and coffee. Luckily, you don’t have to give up your favorite drinks for good oral health. Instead, just drink more water.
Check out our many testimonials from our satisfied patients. Dr. Ruiz and the team at Rightway Dental are standing by to help you. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 281.232.1801.