The Surprising Connection Between Your Dental Health and Overall Health

5 Unexpected Ways Going to the Dentist Makes You Healthier

Whether it’s focusing on nutrition, exercising, or getting regular medical checkups, you probably do quite a bit to take care of your body. However, you might be neglecting one area that’s just as important as all of these – your oral health! 

There’s a surprising connection between your dental health and systemic health that you don’t want to ignore. So, today we’ll share some unexpected links between the two. Plus, we’ll share the signs and symptoms that might point to a more serious health condition. 

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

The term oral hygiene can be a little misleading because there’s so much more than your teeth, tongue, and gums at stake. Just like any other organ in your body, oral health is essential for your overall health. Studies show a direct link between poor dental health and other conditions like diabetes, dementia, or heart disease—which is why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene.

Possible Conditions Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene

If you’re experiencing any discomfort, tooth pain, bleeding gums, or unusual growths in your mouth, it could signify that something else is going on with your overall health. Here are five examples of conditions with a solid link to oral health.

Oral Health and Diabetes

While proper oral health is essential for everyone, it’s especially important for people with diabetes. Tooth decay is one of the most common complications, affecting an estimated 48% of Americans living with type 2 diabetes. In addition, a 1999 study showed that people with diabetes were almost twice as likely to develop periodontal disease.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Did you know that your cardiovascular health is connected to your oral health too? The two are so strongly correlated that those with poor oral health are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. Other studies have also suggested an increased chance of strokes in those who don’t practice regular dental care.

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Oral Health and Pregnancy

Oral health also has a significant impact on fertility. Women with untreated dental issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis may have difficulty getting pregnant or be unable to carry their pregnancy to term. Maintaining good oral hygiene is especially important during pregnancy. Research suggests that women with better oral health experience fewer complications in their pregnancies than those with poor oral health.

Osteoporosis and Dental Health 

Bone density loss can impact more than your back or hips. If you’re experiencing dental issues like sensitive teeth, receding gums, or pain when eating hot or cold foods, see your dentist immediately to ensure they aren’t signs of osteoporosis

The Link Between Cancer and Oral Health 

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than one-third of cancer patients experience oral complications. Often, dentists are the first to detect signs of cancer. Here are four common cancer side effects that a routine checkup might uncover. 

  • Mouth sores
  • Gum pain and infections
  • Jaw pain
  • Dry mouth

Of course, oral cancer screenings are a vital part of any routine preventive dentistry checkup at Peace Haven Family Dentistry. 

Bringing It All Together: Why Oral Health Is Important

Your mouth is a mirror of your overall health. One way or another, what’s happening in your mouth is probably happening elsewhere in your body. Preventative dental care can go a long way toward keeping your smile and your body healthy. 

If you’re ready to schedule your next dental cleaning or checkup, call Peace Haven Family Dentistry today. We look forward to seeing you! 
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Houston Symmes

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