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Our mouth is home to a host of bacteria, whether we like it or not. Some of these bacteria are good for us and help break down food. In contrast, other types of bacteria can cause infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

These infections can lead to serious, chronic health problems, sometimes even risky ones like heart disease or stroke.

So, next time you plan on skipping brushing your teeth, remember that it’s not just about having a sparkling smile. It’s about keeping your whole body healthy and well.

If you need more facts and connections, here are some ways oral health is linked to overall wellbeing:

1.   Signal an Underlying Condition

An Academy of General Dentistry study found that nearly 60% of Americans say a smile is the most important physical feature.

However, your smile isn’t only a personality attribute; it’s also an indicator of your health. For instance, yellow teeth could be a sign of excessive smoking, which increases the risk of developing cancer. Or there could be severe underlying conditions like diabetes or thyroid disorders to tooth decay. In San Francisco alone, 40 percent of children experience tooth decay within a short period of two years. Specialists point out that this is a serious matter since it could lead to problems like difficulty eating and sleeping and low self-esteem.

Tooth decay and other dental problems can affect people of all ages, and that’s why consulting with specialists is a viable idea. For those in San Francisco, approaching San Francisco Oral Surgery Specialists will prove worthwhile.

2.   Oral Health and Mental Health

Your oral health can also greatly impact your mental health. Gum disease has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It is a sort of dementia that affects the brain, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A University of Central Lancashire study reports that people with gum disease are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, a study on mice found that the bacteria from gum disease can travel to the brain and cause inflammation. It can result in memory loss and cognitive decline. While more research needs to be done on this topic, it’s clear that there is a connection between oral health and mental health.

3.   The Link between Gum Disease and Pre-Diabetes

Do you suffer from bleeding gums? Do you spit out blood every time you brush your teeth? If so, you might be at risk for pre-diabetes.

A study by the University of Michigan found that people with periodontal disease (gum disease) are twice as likely to develop pre-diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is a severe condition that can lead to problems like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

The bright side is that gum disease is preventable. You can reduce your risk by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist for regular checkups. More importantly, control your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

4.   Oral Health and Pregnancy

Have you ever heard the saying, “you’re eating for two”? When pregnant, taking care of your oral health is important because it can impact your baby’s health.

For instance, pregnant women with gum issues are likely to have babies with low birth weight because the bacteria from the gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the placenta. The bacteria cause inflammation, leading to low birth weight.

Likewise, pregnant women with gum disease are at a higher risk for preterm labor. Preterm labor is when you give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

While gum disease is common during pregnancy, maintaining good oral hygiene can reduce the risk. Consult your dentist to see how often you should come for cleaning during pregnancy.

5. Oral Health Affecting Self-Esteem

Are you unsure about smiling because of your yellow teeth? Or do you avoid social situations because you’re embarrassed about your crooked teeth? If so, then your oral health is impacting your self-esteem.

Your smile is surely the first thing people notice about you, so it’s natural for you to want to have a good one. Unfortunately, most people are self-conscious about their smiles because of dental problems. It can trigger anxiety, which can lead to social isolation.

However, these issues can be fixed with the help of a dentist. For instance, yellow teeth can be whitened, and crooked teeth can be straightened. After you get these problems fixed, you’ll be able to smile with confidence.

Dental Care has evolved

Gone are the times when visiting the dentist meant getting a metal filling. Today, there are many different options for dental care, and technology has come a long way.

For instance, there are now tooth-colored fillings that look more natural. In addition, dental implants have become more popular because they look and feel like real teeth. If you’re dissatisfied with your smile, you don’t have to live with it forever. Similarly, serious issues like gum disease can be treated with the help of a dentist. There’s no need to suffer in silence.

While looking for a new dentist, find one that uses the latest technology. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the best care possible.

Conclusion

Your mom probably repeated it a million times when you were younger, “brush your teeth, or you’ll get cavities.” It turns out that mom was on to something. Good oral hygiene isn’t just about avoiding cavities and bad breath. It’s essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Start taking care of your teeth today, and your smile will thank you for years.