The surprising connection between oral health and the quality of life

Dental check-up in clinic

Most of us are unaware about the effects of oral health on our quality of life. Your overall health affects your overall life in more ways than you can imagine. A simple example would be the pain resulting from oral problems. This pain makes simple actions like chewing, swallowing and speaking difficult. Even sleeping can be affected because of oral diseases. Your overall quality of life is greatly affected because of bad oral health.

Hence, it is crucial that you maintain good oral health. A good dentist can make this easy for you. You can simply type in words like ‘dentist near me’ in a search engine, go through public reviews and find a good dentist in your neighborhood.

Listed below are the negative impacts of poor oral health on your overall health which help you understand better how your oral health affects the quality of your life.

What Are the Negative Effects of Poor Oral Health?

Listed below are the various diseases and health conditions which can be caused by poor oral health:

  • Oral Cancer – If you consume tobacco in any form, you are putting yourself at an increased risk of oral cancer.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – Some studies suggest that there might be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular diseases such as clogged arteries or a stroke in severe cases. Theories propose that the bacteria found in infected gums can enter the bloodstream through either chewing, brushing or flossing. When these bacteria reach the arteries, they cause irritation and initiate the accumulation of arterial plaque. This plaque can in turn cause arterial hardening and eventually lead to decreased or blocked blood flow. If the blood flow to the heart is compromised in any way, it may result in a heart attack. Besides, the arterial plaque can travel to other parts of the body. This increases the risk of blockage in crucial organs such as brain which may result in a stroke.
  • Endocarditis – It is basically an infection in endocardium – the inner lining of the heart. Germs or bacteria from other parts of the body such as mouth can travel through the bloodstream. When these get attached to the endocardium, they may cause substantial damage.
  • Diabetes – Gum diseases are more prevalent and severe among people who suffer from diabetes. Besides, research has shown that people who have gum diseases experience more difficulty in controlling their blood sugar levels. Diabetes control can be improved with regular periodontal care.
  • Pregnancy Complications – Pregnant women are more prone to oral health issues such as gum diseases. Many women who are planning a baby or are already pregnant aren’t aware about the importance of oral care in pregnancy. Hence, they are at an increased risk of oral health issues such as pregnancy gingivitis and periodontitis. These two oral problems can cause complications such as low birth weight and premature birth.
  • Osteoporosis – This is a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle. Periodontal bone and tooth loss may be linked with this health condition. Besides drugs which are used to treat osteoporosis can increase the risk of damage to the jaw bones.

How to Maintain Good Oral Health?

Simply following a good oral hygiene routine can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Incorporate the simple tips listed below in your oral hygiene routine for improved oral health.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste which contains fluoride. Replace your toothbrush after every three or four months or if the bristles are tattered. Use a non-acidic and alcohol free mouthwash to rinse your mouth after brushing.
  • Make flossing a daily habit. This will help you get rid of food debris stuck in spots which are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Eat a healthy diet which includes foods that are good for your teeth and gums. Cheese, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, celery, carrots, apples and almonds are all examples of foods which help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. Limit consumption of snacks in between meals. Ditch the sugary, starchy, chewy or hard foods which can harm your teeth. Instead, opt for healthy snacks.
  • Avoid consumption of tobacco in any form.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings and never miss your dental appointment. These can help detect problems such as cavities and decay which can give way to serious oral problems if ignored.

If you are experiencing any oral problems do not neglect them. Consult a dentist near you immediately. Talk to your dentist about the practices you can incorporate in your oral hygiene routine for a healthy smile. Even small efforts taken to maintain good oral health can reward you with a better quality of life.