Good oral care is necessary to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Your daily routine should include brushing twice per day at a minimum in addition to brushing after eating anything sugary or sweet. You should also be flossing regularly to remove food particles from tight spaces between your teeth. In addition, seeing your dentist every six months for cleaning will uncover problems early, and help you get treatment before your oral hygiene problems cause issues with your physical health.

Heart Health

If for no other reason, you should regularly see a dentist in Memphis TN to boost your cardiovascular health. This is because the harmful bacteria in your mouth can gain access to your arteries through the gum tissue. The threat of this type of infection spreading becomes more likely when you suffer from gum disease since the infection of the gum tissue provides a greater access point to the blood. As bacteria are transported through the arteries in this way, it increases the risks of plaque buildup on the artery walls. This inhibits the flow of oxygen-rich blood, raising the risks of a heart attack or stroke. This is also why people with poor oral health also suffer from high blood pressure. If left untreated, gum disease can also lead to endocarditis or the inflammation of a heart valve.

Mental Health

The bacteria in the mouth can also travel to the brain once it enters the bloodstream. This is especially dangerous to mental health because bacteria can kill brain cells, affecting the functioning of the mind. This includes affecting memory, concentration, and other types of cognitive functioning. This is why the risk for dementia is higher among seniors with untreated gum disease. The steady flow of bacteria to the brain via the infected gum tissue can lead to the continual death of brain cells. As a result, dementia and other cognitive health problems can worsen over time.

Type 2 Diabetes

There’s a two-way link between gum disease and type 2 diabetes that increases the health risks for those with high insulin resistance. This link starts with the increased susceptibility for infection among diabetics. Due to the potential for nerve damage, the infection can spread more easily. In addition to affecting nerves in the legs, eyes, and other extremities, the gum tissue is also at a greater risk for infection. When a diabetic does develop gum disease, they find it more challenging to control their blood sugar levels. Along with the bacteria that gain access to the blood through the infected gum tissue, the sugar that a diabetic consumes also gains direct access to the blood supply through the gums. In this way, people without type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing insulin resistance through the increased sugar in their blood.

Infertility and Pregnancy

Research has found that poor gum tissue health and tooth decay can lead to complications for women who are trying to get pregnant. In general, it takes longer for women with poor oral health to get pregnant, and some women need help from fertility specialists to conceive. Even after conceiving, women with poor oral health experience complications with their pregnancies. Pregnant women with gingivitis and periodontal disease are at a greater risk of delivering a child with low birth weight and other birth defects.

Cancer

Tooth decay and gum disease significantly raise the risks for oral and throat cancer. Additionally, poor oral health has also been linked to the development of other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and leukemia. Additionally, gum disease increases the risk that an individual will develop kidney disease. Since gum tissue compromises the immune system, many serious medical conditions are more likely to develop. If you’re already in poor physical health, oral hygiene issues could complicate your condition and increase the likelihood that you will develop some type of cancer.

Taking better care of your oral health will also affect your emotional health. People who maintain healthier teeth and gum tissue feel confident in smiling more frequently. This improves the interactions they have with others, causing them to feel even better about themselves. As a result of maintaining a healthier smile, you’ll have the self-esteem to pursue romance, success, and happiness in every area of your life.

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