Brushing your teeth is only to keep your breath fresh and to avoid cavities, right? Surprise!
Good oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, has many other benefits. At Southridge Dental, not only do we focus on taking care of our patients’ health, but we want to ensure that we offer education as to why certain oral hygiene habits are the way to go!
Here are five surprising ways brushing and flossing can aid your overall health (and a reminder of why it’s good for your mouth too):
- The Heart
Heart attack risk may be lowered by brushing and flossing your teeth. In Taiwan, it was discovered that just a single dental cleaning lowered the risk of heart attacks by 24%. The American Journal of Medicine has also linked heart attack risk factors with poor dental health. Did you know gum disease is one of the major indicators of heart disease? Brush those teeth, and hopefully your heart and body will stay healthier, as well!
- The Mind
Dementia risk factors may go up if you don’t take care of your mouth. If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, according to The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, you have a 65% greater risk of developing dementia. If you already have gum disease and develop dementia, you may decline up to six times faster because of your unhealthy mouth! Periodontal bacteria that increase inflammation are the culprit behind this scary statistic.
- The Lungs
If you like to breathe (who doesn’t?), this one’s for you: bacteria that form in the mouth can make their way into the lungs and respiratory tract. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia risk are both increased when you don’t brush your teeth. This is especially true for older adults that live in nursing homes or are being treated in an ICU setting.
- Future Generations
Did you know that good oral hygiene of an expecting mother is important for her baby? Well, it is! Having healthy teeth can contribute to overall health while women are in labor, so it’s important to make sure and take good care of your mouth. Gum disease (it’s a real problem!) can factor into a pregnancy and even fertility, believe it or not.
Adults can signal to their brain that food time is over by brushing their teeth. This may help some maintain a healthier weight!
The study in Taiwan that showed a decreased risk of a heart attack? The same study showed a 13% lowered risk of stroke as well. The American Journal of Medicine agrees.
Diabetes can even be influenced by gum disease. It can influence how the body controls the blood glucose level, potentially leading to diabetes (or making it that much harder to manage).
There are a lot of known benefits for brushing your teeth; flossing and regular cleanings can also help make sure your teeth are strong and disease-free. Visiting a professional dentist helps to spot dental concerns before they progress or before they start to take a toll on the rest of your health.
- Finally, The Mouth
Of course brushing and flossing your teeth is good for your mouth. Cavities? Get those out of here. Bad breath? No, thank you! Gum disease? Absolutely not!
Gum disease is a particularly egregious offender when it comes to increasing risk factors for other health problems (like those mentioned earlier). Caused when plaque builds up around your teeth, and preceded by an inflammation of the gums, gum disease is thwarted by regular cleanings and brushings. Make sure you’re keeping up on your oral hygiene to stay healthier overall!
Come visit Southridge Dental to get your regular cleanings and keep gum disease at bay. You can call us at (509) 581-0081 or schedule an appointment online today.