You probably know that it’s important to properly clean your teeth to ward off cavities from developing. But did you know that the condition of your teeth and gums can have an impact on your overall health as well? Read on as the dentists at Crescent Dental in Orlando explain why your dental health matters and offer tips for keeping your mouth healthy.
The Consequences of Neglecting Oral Care
At our practice, we see first-hand what can happen when you don’t take proper care of your teeth and gums. The consequences then reach much farther than simply causing tooth decay. The main conditions that can result from poor oral hygiene include:
Tooth Decay, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss
Our mouths are dark and moist, creating the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. If we fail to remove this oral bacteria regularly, it can build up into a sticky film on the teeth called plaque. Over time, the acid in this plaque begins to weaken tooth enamel causing cavities. It can also invade and infect the gum tissues creating gum disease.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that begins in the gum tissues and is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. If left untreated, gum disease will progress from a more manageable form called gingivitis to the advanced stage called periodontitis. By the time gum disease has evolved into periodontitis, supporting gum and bone tissues begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to tooth loss if neglected.
Increased Risk of Systemic Conditions
Recently, researchers have found a link between gum disease and many systemic inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. For a while, researchers thought that oral bacteria was to blame for the increased risk of developing systemic problems. However, more recent research seems to point to the inflammation caused by the gum disease infection as the culprit. In any case, there is strong evidence that treating gum disease by reducing oral bacteria, and in turn reducing inflammation, helps to prevent or manage the symptoms caused by these systemic conditions.
Recommendations for Proper Oral Hygiene
For most people, even if they haven’t made oral care a priority, many problems can be prevented by beginning a regimen of proper oral hygiene. Follow these tips from the dentists of Crescent Dental in order to help protect your oral and overall health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time using a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least one time a day, preferably at night.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash at least once a day.
- Make sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a thorough exam and cleaning.
- If you notice any of the common signs of periodontal disease–such as bleeding while brushing, gums that are sore or swollen, or bite changes and shifted teeth–see your dentist right away for an evaluation.
Contact Crescent Dental for an Appointment
If you are concerned about your oral health or you notice any of the common symptoms of gum disease, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Crescent Dental right away. We will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, perform a professional cleaning, and recommend proper treatments if any potential problems are found. Drs. Zufari and Thakur are here to help you achieve and maintain your oral health so you can prevent bigger dental issues from developing and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile!