Every dentist, hygienist and dental assistant in New Jersey will tell you that excellent overall health starts at the top – with good oral hygiene. Researchers have discovered that there is a direct link between the health of your mouth, teeth and gums and your overall, general health. In addition, they’ve also found evidence linking poor oral hygiene to conditions like heart disease, an increased risk of stroke, oral cancer, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and more.
Poor Oral Hygiene Affecting Mental Health
Aside from profound risks to your overall health, the status of your oral hygiene quality can affect your very mood each day – your happiness, your confidence, and your overall attitude towards things. When a person’s gums, teeth and mouth are well-taken care of, are healthy, and look good, that person will tend to smile more often and without reserve.
On the contrary, people with poorer oral hygiene are less likely to show their teeth when they smile, and oftentimes feel less confident around others. When poor oral hygiene results in pain in the mouth or teeth, a person will often be more focused on that pain and less focused on enjoying life in general. There is a strong connection between gum disease and stress, anxiety and depression, ultimately resulting in a lack of self-esteem, a constant worry over what others may think, and other difficulties regarding interactions with others.
Evidence to Support the Link between Oral Health and General Health
Some additional overall health issues that researchers have found links with poor oral hygiene include kidney disease, pregnancy complications, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease as well. In fact, researchers have found that chronic inflammation of the gums early in life quadruples a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The bacteria P. gingivalis, found in debris and in the gums, has been found in the brains of several patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers are currently studying whether or not the bacteria could be a direct cause of dementia or not.
Start Now: Improve Oral Hygiene and Reduce Health Risks
The good news is that it’s never too late to improve the health of your mouth and decrease your risk for social, physical and mental damage that could stem from poor oral hygiene. Proper brushing habits, daily flossing, and maintaining regular dental check-ups are some of the best things people can do to not only improve their oral health, but also their overall health. It’s a good idea to consult with your dentist as well as your dental assistant in New Jersey regarding specific steps you can take to improve your smile.
When a person suffers from the results of poor oral habits, it results in more than just bad breath and unattractive teeth. There are several serious issues, both mental and physical, that can affect a person and his or her body that stem from a lack of good oral health and hygiene.