Poor oral health and hygiene can lead to several conditions in your mouth, such as dental cavities, infections, gum disease, and tooth loss. According to the World Health Organization, cavities and gum disease are very common. Nearly 100 percent of adults have had at least one dental cavity, and between 15 and 20 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 have severe gum disease.1 Left untreated, this condition can cause damage to the bones and teeth. But along with problems in your mouth, poor oral health can have ramifications for the rest of your body. Find out more about the effects of poor oral health and why you should consult a general dentist in Webster, NY.
Symptoms of an Unhealthy Mouth
Children and adults should see a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. This helps dentists identify issues – potentially even before showing symptoms.
Poor oral health and hygiene can lead to painful or severe symptoms, including: 2
- Ulcers or sores in the mouth
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Tooth pain
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Swelling in the face or jaw
- Receding gum
Some of the factors that contribute to poor oral health include:
- Poor brushing habits
- Eating sugary snacks and drinking sugary drinks
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Taking medications that cause dry mouth
- Infections, such as HIV
- Hormonal changes
- Acid reflux
- Eating disorders with vomiting
While some of these are within your control, contributing factors like genetics or medical conditions are not. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your dental hygiene and see a general dentist for regular exams.
The Connection Between Poor Oral Health and Whole-Body Health
The human mouth contains a lot of bacteria. While some bacteria are beneficial, harmful bacteria can proliferate unless kept in check by oral hygiene. The problems this can cause extend past your mouth, however.
The mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tract, allowing potentially harmful bacteria to enter these systems. Twice daily brushing and flossing, combined with a healthy immune system, can keep these bacteria in check. However, without brushing and flossing, the harmful bacteria can lead to infections and other conditions, especially in people with a weakened immune system.
Several health conditions can be linked to poor oral health, including: 3
- Endocarditis: This is an infection in the lining of the heart chambers that occurs when bacteria or other pathogens from different parts of the body spread in the bloodstream.
- Cardiovascular disease: Research indicates that heart disease, arterial disease, and the risk of heart attack and stroke are linked to the infections caused by oral bacteria.
- Birth complications: Periodontitis in pregnant women has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia: Bacteria in the mouth can end up in the lungs, leading to bacterial pneumonia or other respiratory infections that can be serious.
- Cancer: Periodontal disease has been linked to pancreatic cancer.
- Alzheimer’s: Periodontal disease has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Protect Your Oral Health with a General Dentist in Webster NY
Poor oral health and the conditions it can cause are scary, but fortunately, caring for your oral health is simple. Here are some steps to practice good oral hygiene and protect your oral health:
- Brush at least twice daily for at least two minutes.
- Floss twice daily.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Use mouthwash to remove particles and bacteria left behind from brushing and flossing.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months.
- Invest in a soft-bristled toothbrush, and don’t brush too hard.
- Avoid smoking or using other tobacco products.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups.
Visit Empire Dental Care, a General Dentist in Webster NY
Poor oral health can have widespread consequences, and not just in your mouth. However, there are numerous reasons that people neglect their oral health, including anxiety with the dentist or financial limitations.
At Empire Dental Care, we understand your concerns and cater to your personal dental needs. We believe that dental care is a necessity, not a luxury. We offer excellent dental care with a gentle touch, flexible scheduling, and financing options. If you need a general dentist in Webster, NY, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment! 585.671.1650