Dental hygiene is the key to a healthy smile, but it also benefits more than just your mouth. According to the staff at Peninsula Community Health Services in Soldotna, AK, good dental health affects many parts of the body, and keeping your mouth healthy can safeguard vital systems. Avoiding the dentist and poor oral care can have significant consequences, so it’s imperative to understand just how important it is to the rest of your body.
Here are a few of the major bodily systems oral health can affect:
- Cardiovascular Health: Heart disease and cardiovascular events are the leading cause of death in the world, and how well you take care of your teeth has an impact. Poor oral care leads to gum disease, which can go on to damage your cardiovascular system. When your gums are infected, bacteria can freely enter the bloodstream, allowing them to travel to the heart where they harden surrounding arteries. This can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and other deadly cardiovascular issues, so brush to keep a healthy smile, as well as a healthy heart.
- Respiratory Issues: Similar to how gum disease allows bacteria to attack the heart, it also allows it to invade your lungs. Left untreated, the teeth and gums become severely infected, hosting colonies of harmful bacteria. When you breathe, these bacteria access your lungs and cause a variety of issues ranging from basic infections to pneumonia. Visit your dentist at least every six months to ensure you’re safe from gum disease.
- Mental Health: Aside from the emotional impact bad breath and unsightly teeth can have on your self-confidence, oral issues can also affect the brain. Gingivitis, a precursor to gum disease, creates bacteria that can access your brain through nerves or the bloodstream and cause neurological issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Further effects are a topic of constant medical study, so practice healthy oral habits to keep your mind sharp.
If you need a dentist or healthcare clinic services, turn to the professionals at Peninsula Community Health Services. Their experienced staff can treat a variety of conditions, and a dentist will work with you to ensure you’re taking proper care of your teeth. Call (907) 283-7759 today to schedule an appointment and visit their website and Facebook page to learn about additional services their medical center offers.