While maintaining your oral health will help keep your teeth looking and feeling great, did you know that it will also improve your overall health as well? A healthy mouth, protected by good brushing and flossing, can help ward off a number of diseases and infections that can plague not just your mouth, but your body. Alternatively, failure to properly maintain your oral health can increase your risk of suffering from heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimers, pneumonia, diabetes, and other common viral and bacterial infections. Due to how interconnected your overall health is to your oral health, our dental team in Billings, MT is here to help you be aware of the dangers you face, along with how to reduce and prevent such infections from occurring.
How Oral Conditions can Impact your Overall Health
Without proper care, improper flossing and brushing will commonly lead to cavities, tooth decay, dry mouth, plaque, and ultimately gum disease, also known as periodontitis. While periodontitis and other forms of oral inflation are very harmful on their own, they will also cause major health problems as well.
For pregnant women, periodontitis has been proven to have a direct link to premature births and below-average birth weights in children. Bacteria and other germs in the gums spread through the bloodstream to the rest of the body, leading to clogged arteries, heart problems, and strokes. Lastly, certain bacteria that aren’t properly brushed away or removed with mouthwash can be sucked into the lungs, which can result in respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
Following proper oral care is very important than to protect your body as a whole, especially for those who have pre-existing conditions that can be exacerbated by diseases. Here are a few of our top suggestions to further protect and improve your oral health:
How to Protect/Improve your Oral Health
- Proper teeth care – Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Remember to replace your toothbrush head at least every three months. Replace sooner if bristles are worn out or frayed, or if you are recovering from a recent illness.
- Flossing and mouthwash – Floss daily, and use mouthwash after flossing to further washout and remove food particles that have been dislodged from your teeth. Remember to also brush your tongue as well at least daily to remove plaque, bacteria, and lingering food particles.
- Improving your diet – Drink more water, and try to cut back on sodas, juice, and other sugary drinks. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and incorporate more crunchy fruits and vegetables. Incorporate more healthy fibers into your diet. Also, avoid nicotine, and cut back on alcohol consumption.
With these practices, you will significantly improve your ability to protect yourself against harmful diseases while also improving your overall oral hygiene and smile. However, those with more severe oral health complications or a history of improper oral care may struggle or already have oral health issues. If you have one of these conditions below, we recommend seeing your local dentist, including our team in Billings, MT, for treatment and additional help.
When Should I Get Oral Health Treatment
Consider seeking treatment if you have one or more of the following issues:
- Red, swollen, or extremely tender gums.
- Gums that have receded or otherwise pulled away from your teeth.
- Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing.
- Loose, separating, or teeth that have partially fallen out.
- Put between your teeth, gums, and in other parts of your mouth.
- A sudden or dramatic change in the way your teeth fit together, especially when you bite.
- A sudden or dramatic change in the way your partial or full dentures fit in your mouth<.
Even if you do not suffer from one of these conditions, visiting your dentist at least twice a year can be very helpful in maintaining your oral hygiene. Professional teeth cleanings are the best, most efficient way of cleaning up calculus buildups, or tartar, which traps plaque bacteria and are a major source of harmful oral diseases.
With good oral hygiene, you’ll not only find yourself with cleaner, whiter teeth, but with other benefits that range from better breath to improved protection against a wide range of major health issues. So, be sure to get in the habit today of the things you need to do to improve your oral hygiene and visit Taylor Dental in Billings, MT, for additional dental aid. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health for a longer, and healthier life!