Let’s face it, brushing and flossing are not everyone’s favorite task to do each day. In fact, 18 percent of people say they would rather wash the dishes than floss their teeth. With many people finding brushing twice a day and flossing each day to be their less than favorite thing to do, many skip proper oral hygiene. While it may not seem like a very big deal only brushing once a day or flossing a couple of times per week, you are placing your oral and overall health at risk. There is a direct link between oral and overall health. If you are not practicing proper oral hygiene, you may very well be opening the door to serious health complications. As your dentist in Highland Village, we want to see you maintain optimal health with proper oral hygiene.
Poor Oral Hygiene Hurts Overall Health
When you skip out on brushing and flossing, you allow plaque and tarter accumulations to develop Bacteria thrives in these accumulations, causing an infection in the gums that is known as gum disease. While gum disease is treatable in the early stages, it often progresses to advanced stages due to continued poor oral hygiene and lack of treatment. As the infection continues to intensify, you will notice serious damage to your teeth. However, the complications of the infection extend beyond just loose teeth and bleeding gums.
The bacteria responsible for gum disease is directly linked to cardiovascular disease. As the bacteria travels through the bloodstream, it causes the arteries in the heart to become inflamed. This leads to hardening of the arteries, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Not to mention, the lining of the heart can become infected and inflamed, leading to endocarditis.
The heart is not the only area to be impacted by the bacteria. Recent research shows that dementia is also linked to gum disease. As the bacteria enters the brain, nerve channels become infected and inflamed, leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, those with untreated gum disease also tend to develop more respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Those with diabetes can expect to have more diabetic complications as blood sugar becomes more difficult to manage.
There also appears to be a connection between gum disease and pregnant women. Preliminary research indicates that pregnant women with gum disease tend to deliver prematurely. In addition, babies born to mothers with gum disease tend to have low birth weights.
Protect Your Health with Oral Hygiene
You can stop the development of health complications by practicing proper oral hygiene. You need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. In addition to home care, you also need to visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. With the right care, you will stop the development and spread of the infection to protect your smile and oral health.
At Highland Village Family Dentistry, we take the health of your body and mouth seriously. Let us help you protect your smile and overall health with comprehensive dental care. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.