Selecting and utilizing dental benefits is crucial because the condition of your teeth and gums significantly impacts your overall health. Proper oral health care can help prevent oral infections, tooth decay, gum disease, and other conditions.
Overall Health Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Not only does good oral health support your teeth and gums, but your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the ways dental hygiene can affect your overall health:
- Help cardiovascular health. Gum disease increases inflammation in the body, including within the soft tissues of the heart. Plaque and bacteria enter the body through the gums and can clog arteries and increase your risk of a severe heart attack or stroke.
- Decrease the risk of experiencing dementia. Poor dental hygiene can cause you to suffer from tooth decay and even tooth loss. Substances entering your body through your gums can negatively impact your brain’s functions. In turn, there is a higher potential for memory loss which can develop into dementia.
- Improve respiratory conditions. Bacteria can travel from your mouth to the bloodstream and into your lungs, directly impacting your respiratory system. Good oral hygiene can help prevent unwanted bacteria from traveling further into your body.
- Lower the risk of diabetes. People with gum disease are more prone to developing diabetes. The reverse is also true; those with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. If you already have diabetes, it’s vital to maintain good oral hygiene for prevention, as you’re more likely to contract certain infections when you have diabetes.
- Prevent some infertility risks. Gum disease can cause infertility issues such as premature birth and low birth weight. Maintaining good oral hygiene can help increase your odds of a normal pregnancy.
How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene
It’s important to practice oral hygiene for your overall health and well-being. Here are a few tips to help prevent periodontal diseases and health issues:
- Brush your teeth daily. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily can help clean your teeth and gums of bacteria and food debris within your mouth.
- Schedule regular dental appointments. Have your teeth cleaned at least once a year in order to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Change your toothbrush every couple of months. You use your toothbrush every day. Changing your toothbrush every couple of months helps minimize the amount of bacteria on the toothbrush, preventing it from being transferred to your mouth.
- Eat firm, whole foods. Firm foods can also help clean your teeth as you eat. Consider foods such as carrots, apples and celery in your diet.
Learn More About Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene needs to be a top priority to maintain good overall health status. A healthy mouth is often a sign of a healthy body. For further information on the importance of dental health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a variety of useful tools and resources.
Visit our TIG Advisors blog for additional information on dental benefits and other health resources.