In an age where many people are getting seriously ill, it's important to take good care of yourself. Not only does this mean washing your hands and keeping your mouth and nose covered in public, but it also means keeping tabs on your dental hygiene. Ignoring your teeth could lead you down a path of sickness and put you in danger.
Why is proper dental care important when it doesn't involve your mouth?
Keeping track of your dental hygiene is important for the health of your teeth and gums, but it is also crucial for preventing other serious illnesses. Here's how you can practice good dental hygiene, and how not caring for your teeth can affect your health overall.
Why Is Good Dental Care Important?
Poor dental hygiene can lead to a variety of different afflictions. Here are some of the ways that not taking care of your teeth can affect you.
Cavities are one of the most obvious results of poor dental hygiene. They are caused by bacteria and plaque buildups on your teeth, followed by the bacteria eating away at the enamel that protects your tooth. The holes that result afterward are cavities that will need to be filled by a dentist.
If you let a cavity go without treatment for too long, the bacteria can start eating away at the inside of your tooth and cause it to decay. Pain begins when the bacteria get to the nerves inside of your teeth, which will need more serious treatments to fix. Root canals and tooth removals are the only solutions for cavities that go ignored for too long.
Gingivitis is another disease that can occur if you don't take care of your gum line.
Bacteria infect the tissue surrounding your teeth, causing it to become inflamed, red, and painful. Your gum line can start to recede as well, which becomes a major problem for your teeth. Fortunately, the effects of gingivitis can be reversed if caught soon enough.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gingivitis where the lower layers of the gumline are affected, and can also damage the bones that support your teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out. While this disease can be treated, it isn't reversible. If you discover that your gums have become painful, swollen, shorter, or red, then you should speak with a dentist immediately.
Other Serious Illnesses
Your mouth isn't the only area that can be affected by poor dental hygiene. If the bacteria in your mouth go unchecked for too long, they can work their way to other areas of the body, such as your digestive system or even into your bloodstream. Oral health issues have been linked to other problems, including, but not limited to:
- Cardiovascular diseases and endocarditis
- Pregnancy and birth complications
Many of these illnesses are connected to or caused by the bacteria involved in gum diseases like periodontitis and tooth decay. While more information has yet to be uncovered about these links, there are strong connections between poor dental hygiene and your overall health.
How Can You Practice Good Dental Hygiene?
If you're worried about the quality of your dental hygiene, there are a few simple ways that you can improve it.
Brushing two to three times a day, as well as flossing regularly are two ways that you can keep on top of your dental hygiene. Mouthwash can be great for getting rid of any additional bacteria on the tongue and roof of your mouth. When in doubt, you can ask your dentist what dental care products you should use on your teeth.
Of course, regular brushing isn't all you'll need to do. You should schedule regular dental visits to help keep your teeth clean and to check for any signs of cavities or gum disease. The best way to keep on top of your appointments is to visit your dentist twice a year.
Signs You Should See a Dentist
If you notice something off about your teeth before your next appointment, you may need to make an emergency visit to your dentist. Here are some signs you should look out for that show you need to make an early appointment.
Your Teeth or Gums Hurt or Are Overly Sensitive
Have you noticed that your teeth or gums have become extremely sensitive? Does it hurt to chew certain items or drink hot or cold liquids?
Tooth sensitivity is a potential sign that a cavity is forming, as your enamel is what protects the nerves inside of your teeth. If the enamel wears down too much, your nerves will become more exposed, leading to sensitivity and pain while eating.
The same sensitivity is true for your gums. If they start to ache at the slightest touch or feel sensitive, they may be infected. Pay attention to your pain levels and keep an eye on how your gums look.
Your Gums Bleed Regularly
It's normal for your gums to bleed occasionally when you floss, but if your gums start bleeding regularly or for long periods of time, that's an issue. Make sure you keep track of the look and feel of your gums for a period of time, and when in doubt, schedule a dentist appointment to be safe.
You Have Visible Cavities
Obviously, if you spot a cavity on one or more of your teeth, you should go in to have it treated right away. No matter how small the cavity might seem, it's better to get it taken care of before it has a chance to get worse.
Taking Care of Your Mouth the Right Way
Now that you know the answer to the question "why is dental care important", you're ready and equipped to start taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Remember, your teeth aren't the only thing at risk when it comes to poor dental hygiene!
Are you concerned about the health of your teeth and gums? Are you searching for a new dentist in your area?
We're here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you might have, and continue reading our blog for more dental hygiene tips today.