Saturday, July 23, 2011

Body, Mouth And Mind Connection

Have you seen information in the news about a "healthier mouth means a  healthier you?"  Although there are many aesthetic reasons to maintain a healthy mouth, the most important is the rest of your body, says Marietta dentist.  There is a growing wealth of scientific evidence demonstrating the connection between oral health and the risk of serious disease.  Gums and teeth are not only important for your appearance, but should be kept in tip-top shape if you want to be healthy. It's never too early or late to make necessary changes.  Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are your first line of defense, and here are a few reasons why...

1. Self-Esteem

Decaying teeth or gum disease can be unsightly which may result in low self-esteem, low confidence or even low self-image. Having a confident smile is important and can result in a better quality of life while interacting with others.  It affects how you ultimately feel about yourself.

2. Heart disease, strokes and blood vessels

The risk of heart disease is lower with proper daily oral hygiene. Studies show that chronic inflammation from gum disease might be associated with problems such as heart disease, strokes and blockages of blood vessels. The link between a healthy mouth and the cardiovascular system is now well documented proving the connection.

3. Pregnancy

Pregnant women may be prone to increased gingivitis or gum disease. Research has shown links between gum disease and preterm, low birth weight infants. Although the research is still ongoing, there is enough data to demonstrate the importance of maintaining good oral health and having a healthy infant.  Visiting the dentist during pregnancy should be a part of prenatal care.  It's important to make sure that all aspect of health are good to ensure a healthy full term pregnancy.

4. Memory

Having a good memory is important to remember the priceless moments throughout life. Studies have shown that adults with gum diseases performed worse on memory and cognitive tests.  Interestingly enough, good oral hygiene just might help retain those special moments that have filled your life with joy.

5. Blood Sugar

Diabetes in itself is a difficult disease to manage, as diabetics have more difficulty fighting infections in the body. Since gum disease is an infection, it can rapidly progress out of control.   Once it has taken a foot-hold, it makes controlling blood sugar levels more difficult, an important reason for diabetics to take proper care of gum tissue.  Daily brushing and flossing helps control blood sugar levels.

6. Your body and inflammation

Poor oral hygiene has been shown to be linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body. Studies between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, a painful autoimmune disease-causing inflammation of joints is another example of poor oral hygiene affecting overall health. Infections from the mouth can spread throughout the body leading to a poor quality of life.

Daily brushing and flossing are the key steps to maintaining great overall health, and visits to the dentist for regular visits can mean a healthier you says Marietta dentist.