Recent studies have shown the condition of your teeth and gums can have an impact on your overall health. Proper oral care not only helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, it may also help prevent or lessen the severity of many systemic conditions like heart disease.
Problems Caused by Poor Oral Health
At our practice in Grand Junction, CO, we see first hand what happens when people neglect their oral health. In most cases, these problems can be prevented with proper oral care. Some of the conditions that are caused by poor oral health include:
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Bacteria thrive in the moist, dark environment of our mouths. When we fail to properly clean our teeth and gums, this bacteria accumulates and creates a sticky plaque, which leads to tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease.
If we continue to neglect our oral care, tooth decay and gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. Tooth loss is not just an aesthetic issue. Missing teeth can lead to other dental complications and make it difficult to chew certain foods, causing poor nutrition.
A growing number of studies suggest that inflammation, like that caused by gum disease, is linked to systemic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. These systemic conditions affect the entire body. For a long time researchers thought that bacteria linked gum disease to these conditions; however, it’s now thought that inflammation from the gum disease infection is what is responsible for the association. Regardless, treating gum disease may help prevent or manage these systemic conditions.
Follow Proper Oral Hygiene to Prevent Problems
The most important thing you can do to maintain your oral health is to follow proper hygiene. Dr. Poovey offers these tips on how to take proper care of your mouth:
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time
- Floss your teeth at least once a day and more often if you notice that food tends to collect between your teeth
- Use a fluoride rinse after brushing
- Get regular checkups and professional cleanings
- If you notice any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding while brushing, sore gums, or teeth that have shifted, see your dentist for an evaluation right away. The sooner gum disease is treated the better the outcome.
Visit JP Dental and Implant Center
If it’s been a while since you had a checkup and cleaning, we invite you to contact JP Dental and Implant Center to schedule an appointment. During your hygiene appointment, Dr. Poovey will examine your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of problems that may need attention. We are also happy to review proper brushing and flossing techniques with you after your cleaning to ensure you maintain the health of your smile for years to come.