You’ve likely heard the benefits of good oral hygiene since your parents first introduced you to a toothbrush. After all, everyone knows that brushing your teeth is an essential part of your everyday routine. That said, the benefits of good oral hygiene stretch far beyond fresh breath and white teeth. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is a condition that affects around 50 percent of the entire American population. Such a statistic alone is pretty alarming. Unfortunately, things are getting worse as numerous studies link gum disease with more severe issues like cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
In the end, just like any other good investment, it will be far less expensive to practice preventative care rather than bearing the medical costs of prolonged illness. Of course, the same is the case for your teeth as well. However, the only differentiating factor here is that damaged teeth can affect your overall wellbeing and health, and repair costs could rise to thousands of dollars. That said, let us look at a few benefits of good oral hygiene to your overall health.
Good oral hygiene leads to healthier gums
Our mouth is a complex microbiome that is home to different bacteria. As a result, the environment inside your mouth contains both good bacteria that break down foods and harmful bacteria responsible for illness and infections. Regularly flossing and brushing your teeth maintains a balance between these two bacteria types and removes food particles that feed the harmful bacteria. However, if you don’t keep good oral hygiene, these harmful bacteria multiply, leading to plaque development on your teeth. In addition, it can further result in inflammation of the gums. So, if your teeth contain plaque, now is the right time to visit your dentist and get it removed. You can find a good dentist online. For example, if you live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, search for ‘dentist Vernon Hills‘ and shortlist a few options for consideration. Similarly, use local listings for whichever area you live in to find someone you’re comfortable visiting.
Good oral hygiene leads to healthier lungs
Bacteria can enter your bloodstream from your mouth when you eat food; that is a well-known fact. However, it can also enter your body through your lungs when you inhale. Such a thing can lead to respiratory infections like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, two common causes of death in the USA.
Regularly using mouthwash and brushing your teeth reduces the chance of bacteria entering your lungs and into your bloodstream, drastically lowering the risk of contracting respiratory diseases.
Good oral hygiene leads to a lower risk of cancer
There are a few types cancer types can gum disease can contribute to, especially pancreatic cancer. That said, researchers still don’t understand why this is so. However, some say that bacteria boost cancer cell growth, leading to an increased risk of cancer.
Furthermore, the risk of cancer can also dramatically increase if you use tobacco or have gum disease. Thus, good oral hygiene is essential if you want to avoid any chances of developing cancer.
Good oral hygiene leads to decreased chances of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a dangerous medical condition that can lead to disability and sometimes death in worse-case scenarios. This medical condition develops when your blood sugar spikes, either because your body can’t use insulin properly or doesn’t produce enough of it.
Studies indicate that people suffering from gum disease are 50 percent more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes than those who maintain good oral hygiene. What is the reason behind such a connection? Well, gum disease leads to gum inflammation, making it more difficult for your body to utilize insulin properly. Such a condition is known as insulin resistance. So, to prevent your body from building up resistance to insulin, focus on maintaining good oral hygiene.
Good oral hygiene leads to improved mental health
How are oral hygiene and mental health connected? So, consider this- if you have clean, white teeth, you’ll feel more confident in showing them off to the world, meaning you’ll smile more often. In addition, when you smile, your body releases dopamine and serotonin, making you happier and improving your overall mental wellbeing.
Of course, to show off your pearly whites, you’ll need to floss and brush regularly. If that doesn’t work, you can visit your dentist for a deep cleaning and scaling session. The extra investment and effort will be worthwhile.
Good oral hygiene leads to a reduced risk of heart disease
Unfortunately, germs and bacteria don’t always stay inside your mouth. As mentioned above, when you eat something, they are absorbed into your bloodstream and spread throughout your entire body. When this happens, bacteria will travel to your heart, facilitate cholesterol build-up, and narrow down your arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
In fact, according to the American College of Cardiology, individuals who suffer from gum disease are 50 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who don’t. Therefore, to keep your heart healthy, keep your gums and mouth healthy.
Good oral hygiene leads to weight loss
If you’re searching for ways to improve your chances of weight loss, try up-ing your oral hygiene game. After all, shedding those extra pounds and keeping them off is a crucial aspect of maintaining good overall health. Not to mention, it will allow you to stay away from several medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, etc.
How does good oral hygiene lead to weight loss? Simple- a fresh, minty breath keeps you away from indulging in overnight snacks and desserts. So, make it a habit to use mouthwash and brush your teeth before going to sleep if you want to prevent yourself from waking up in the middle of the night and stuffing your mouth with calories!
The benefits of good oral hygiene are numerous. You avoid bad breath, tooth loss, gum disease, tooth decay, and expensive dental care. And most importantly, it ensures good overall health and wellbeing. So, consider adopting good oral health habits such as regular flossing and brushing. Replace sugary foods with healthy fruits and veggies and visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your teeth and mouth are in good condition.