More and more evidence is being discovered that links good overall health to good oral health. In more ways than one, when you skip out on brushing and flossing regularly, your body is also paying a price in addition to your pearly whites. Gum inflammation has been known and shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but there are also a number of other health maladies that can invade a person’s life due to poor dental habits. Pacific Dental Care is all about educating our patients, so they can cultivate and practice good dental habits on a daily basis that will save you costly procedures (both dental and medical) down the road.

Gum Inflammation has been shown to increase risk of heart disease.

Oral inflammation is no joke. Extended bacterial exposure has been shown to be linked to cardiovascular disease. Inflammation poses a major risk for heart disease. A two front attack should be set in place between your dentist at Pacific Dental Care and your cardiologist, because a problem in one area can often be an indicator of problems in the other.

Your oral health is linked to diabetes.

This one makes sense. Serious gum disease can actually promote diabetes, because gum disease affects your blood glucose levels. Since periodontitis is a bacterial infection, these individual bacteria produce harmful toxins which affect cells and carbohydrate metabolism. These bacteria also increase the body’s insulin resistance, which affects blood glucose levels as well. Diabetes is on the rise in this day and age, making it even more important to stay on top of good brushing habits and schedule your biannual checkups with Pacific Dental Care.

Oral health is linked to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

Canadian studies have suggested a link between progressive gum disease and preterm deliveries as well as low birthweight. If you’ve achieved pregnancy and have a healthy plan in place, this plan should also include your regular visits with Pacific Dental Care. We want to see that baby develop, but we also want to make sure that your oral health is also in check. Babies born preterm or with low birth weight run a heightened risk of complications and developing additional infections, birth abnormalities, and behavioral difficulties. It’s important that you take extra special care of your teeth and gums during this formative time for you and your baby.

Bruxism and TMJ Disorder can cause problems with your overall health.

When Bruxism is especially severe, constant teeth grinding can aggravate the complex system of joints in your lower jaw (temporomandibular joints/TMJs). This can lead to headaches, earaches, troubles with sleep, hand-eye coordination dysfunction, increased irritability, and a number of additional health problems that will penetrate your daily life. Bruxism is also obviously horrible for your teeth as well, wearing down your enamel and protective coating of your teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and also chipped, cracked, or broken teeth.

Smoking affects your teeth, which affect your overall health.

As if you needed another reason to quit smoking, here’s another. When you smoke, you are developing illnesses that can prove to be life-threatening. Quitting smoking can significantly lower your risk for emphysema, painful lesions, oral cancer, lung cancer, and a number of other health complications. Tobacco is also a major contributing cause of tooth loss, gum recession, yellowing teeth, bad breath, reduced sense of smell and taste, and a number of other detrimental medical and cosmetic effects.

Some quick tips on oral health:

First, make sure to practice preventative dentistry. Once you have your adult teeth, it’s the only set you’ve got, so you have to make sure you take good care of them. Instill a good routine twice a day, brushing and flossing as your dentist at Pacific Dental Care recommends, because this will significantly reduce your chances of spending money on costly medical and dental procedures down the road. Using a soft bristle toothbrush is important. If you can afford to, spring for one of the electronic models, which provide consistent, equal pressure, making the brushing process easier on you and your gums. Make sure that you spend extra time on your tongue and the rest of your mouth, making sure to get rid your mouth of as much bacteria as possible. This will avoid infection and bacterial overgrowth which can lead to a vast array of health problems, including those we’ve mentioned above.

Make sure that you schedule your regular checkups with Pacific Dental Care. We’ll stay on top of your dental care habits and make sure that we cultivate good oral health habits that you can carry with you throughout your life.