Brushing Away Health Risks: Keep your Teeth Clean

Closeup on young woman brushing teeth.
Closeup on young woman brushing teeth.

Brushing your teeth means more than just having fresh breath and white teeth. It means having great overall health. Brushing and flossing regularly encourages you to put your health first as well as keeping up with annual dental checkups. Taking care of your dental needs helps you strive to be more proactive with your health. Along with brushing and flossing you are keeping bacteria under control and making sure that the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts is healthy as well.

What are the Specific Health Risks?

Neglecting to take care of your teeth has many health risks that can affect you in the worst way. Whether it be gum disease or a chronic illness, ignoring your teeth is a great risk. Some of the health risks that can take a toll on your body are :

●      Endocarditis – This infection is one that occurs in the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves.  This normally occurs when bacteria from other parts of the body, such as the mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to certain areas of the heart. 

●      Cardiovascular Disease – There is not a full understanding of the connection, but research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria causes.

●      Pregnancy and Birth Complications – Premature birth and low birth weight have been linked to Periodontitis, an infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports the teeth.

●      Pneumonia – Certain bacteria in the mouth can be pulled into the lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases to form.

●      Diabetes – By reducing the body’s resistance to infection, the gums are at risk because of diabetes. Gum disease can be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Researchers have discovered that people who have gum disease tend to have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. However, regular periodontal care can improve diabetic control.

●      HIV/AIDS – Oral problems, such as mucosal lesions are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.

●      Osteoporosis – This bone-weakening disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Treatment for this horrible disease carries a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.

●      Periodontal (Gum Disease) – This disease that affects the tissues, is common in people who have chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes.

●      Dementia – Bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through nerve channels or the bloodstream, causing the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

●      Kidney Disease – Periodontal disease can lead to kidney disease. This disease that affects the kidneys, heart, bones, and blood pressure, can be fatal if it leads to kidney failure. Usually, those who suffer from poor oral health also suffer from kidney disease.

Why is it Important to Brush and Floss?

To achieve perfect oral health, brushing and flossing must be a high priority. It is important to brush and floss regularly in order to prevent gum disease. Unfortunately, for those who refuse to brush their teeth for long periods of time, increase the chance of developing periodontal disease and other infections in the mouth. Other reasons for brushing and flossing include:

●      Removal of Plaque – Brushing ensures the removal of plaque, which is a primary cause for tooth decay and gum disease.

●      Prevent Tooth Decay – Taking care of your teeth by brushing them helps prevent tooth decay, which causes cavities. This is when holes form on the tooth and can result in tooth loss.

●      Bad Breath Prevention – You can prevent bad breath when you brush your teeth daily. When you take care of your breath, you will not have to worry about potentially discouraging friends, colleagues, and family members from developing deeper interpersonal relationships with you. And don’t forget to brush your tongue. Yes, that is right! Brushing your tongue on a regular basis with a tongue scraper can efficiently eliminate odor-causing bacteria that buildup on your tongue.  

●      Flossing Effective and Easy – Using dental floss is an effective and easy way to prevent periodontal disease. Flossing should be a part of your regular routine when taking care of your teeth and gums. This effective dental tool is good for small gaps and tight spaces. It will catch food debris as well as sugars and acids from sugary drinks. It also only takes a few minutes to floss.

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

Dental visit.
Dental visit.

Many may ask the question of why it is important to keep up with dental checkups, but making sure that you visit your dental professional regularly helps to catch infections early. It is essential to schedule a visit to your dentist at least every six months or as recommended by your dental professional. However, if you are wanting to know what to expect on a regular visit to the dentist, the visit includes:

●      Examination and Cleaning – There are two parts to a regular visit. The dentist will examine your teeth for cavities and if necessary take X-rays. After the examination, your dental professional will clean your teeth.

●      Checking for Plaque – The examination also includes checking for plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. Plaque is a clear and sticky layer of bacteria and if it is not removed, it will harden and become tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. So it is important to keep up with visits to your dentist so that they can remove the tartar if necessary.

●      Checking Gums – The dentist will check your gums with a special tool, to help check the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. If your gums are healthy, the spaces will be shallow. If gum disease is present, the spaces may become deeper.

●      Examination of Tongue, Throat, Face, and Neck – When your dentist checks for possible signs of cancer, they will also thoroughly check your tongue, throat, face, and neck.

●      Flossing – Once the dentist is done with the examination, they will floss your teeth to make sure the areas between your teeth are clean.

Whether you have never visited a dentist or go to see a dental professional regularly, it is important to know why dental checkups should be a common way of helping to stay healthy. Once you start a habit of keeping your teeth clean and protected, you will find comfort in knowing that your teeth are well taken care of.

Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning At Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry!

As you can see, maintaining a clean mouth is more important than you might have originally thought. If you are looking to better not only your oral health but your overall health, schedule your next dental cleaning with one of our elite specialists here at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry. In our office, your smile and comfort is our first priority. Schedule your appointment, today, by calling (212) 581-1091.