You already know that good dental hygiene is important to looking and feeling your best. After all, who doesn’t feel better when they have fresh, clean breath and a winning smile? But there’s good reason to keep taking care of your mouth beyond appearances.
The link between overall health and oral hygiene is pretty well established — keeping your regular appointments with your dentist could very well mean you’re brushing and flossing your way to a longer life. Don’t believe it? Here are five jaw-dropping studies that establish a link between general health and dental health.
- Good Teeth = Better Heart
If you aim to have a smile as big as your heart, you’re in luck: good dental hygiene can keep them both in tip-top shape. A 2018 comprehensive review of dental and overall health performed by researchers at the Bristol Dental School at the University Bristol, of Bristol, UK, found a shocking link between the bacteria that cause gum disease and heart disease.
Until now, studies only pointed to a correlation of the two — no surprise since at least ten percent of the global population lives with severe gum disease. But correlation isn’t the end of it: those with poor dental hygiene are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular issues, including heart disease.
While it’s still unclear if there are other mitigating factors, a study published in 2013 years earlier by the same institution found that bleeding gums allowed oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which then build up as clots, which then contribute to heart attack and heart failure.
- Good Gums = Better Memory
If you’ve ever walked into a room with a purpose but, upon arrival, couldn’t remember why you were there, you’ve had a small taste of the frustration that Alzheimer’s patients live with every day. Wanting to enjoy your golden years and see your children and grandchildren grow and mature is natural. Keeping your mouth in good shape can make that desire a reality.
While the exact relationship between periodontal disease — an advanced form of gum disease — and Alzheimer’s is still foggy, the link between the two is clearly there. A 2010 study performed by New York University’s College of Dentistry examined 20 years’ worth of data to establish a clear relationship. In 2015, a study published in Frontiers in Aging and Neuroscience pegged inflammation as a possible culprit. The study concludes that even if oral bacteria aren’t a direct cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the systemic inflammation caused by them can exacerbate the signs and symptoms.
- Good Teeth = Healthy Babies
Being a mother is hard work. When you’re pregnant, it’s hard to keep track of all the “should do’s” and “avoid this”es to ensure your baby is born as healthy as possible and to keep things going as smoothly as it can for you and your family. Looking after your dental hygiene is one of the simplest — yet often overlooked — ways to keep your baby safe and healthy.
As you already know from the studies linking dental hygiene to cardiovascular health, it’s totally possible for bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream. From there it can move to the amniotic fluid that surrounds a baby in utero. A 2009 comprehensive review by the Society for General Microbiology concluded that those with poor oral health are more likely to see premature delivery, a baby with a low birth weight, premature onset of labor and contractors or — in worst case scenarios — a newborn entering the world with an infection or complications that threaten the life of the pregnant mother and her child.
If you’re looking to start or expand your family, it’s worth it to book an appointment with your dentist. Although the link between pregnancy complications and oral health has been known since the ‘60’s, very few doctors mention it as a step you can take to ensure a smooth pregnancy.
Going to the Dentist Impacts Your Overall Health
Getting in to see your dentist is one of the easiest, most painless things you can do to ensure your overall health stays as good as possible for as long as possible. Routine cleanings and exams can spot — and stop — problems before they start, and preventative maintenance of your smile can keep you happier and healthier for longer.
We know you lead a busy life and you’re committed to making memories with your family. That’s why the office of Drs. Krieger and Hur has leveraged the latest technology to make getting in for an appointment a breeze.
The offices of Drs. Krieger and Hur make cosmetic dentistry easy and convenient, often completing procedures the same day! When your smile needs perfecting, but your time is limited, give us a call at 201-560-0606 or email us here and we’ll get you fast-tracked back to eye-catching confidence.
We heard your selfies could be a lot better, so we wrote a “How to Take a Great Selfie” guide to help you show off our great handywork. It’ll be our little secret! You don’t have to tell anyone that your dentist helped you perfect those iconic social media images.
Just click the here, enter your email and download the PDF. Nothing could be easier. While you’re at it, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter for more tips for keeping that smile white and bright.