Taking good care of your mouth — teeth and gums — does more than help ensure you have a bright, white smile.
A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years. The phrase “healthy mouth, healthy you” really is true — and backed by growing scientific evidence.
It’s never too early to start teaching your children to take care of teeth and gums — healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. And, if you’re tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits — brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly — remember that you’re a role model for your kids. Keep in mind these six ways having healthy teeth and gums helps boost overall health. Below are 6 ways that oral hygiene can keep you well!
Boosts Your Self-esteem and Confidence
Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated not only with an unsightly mouth but very bad breath — so bad it can affect your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem.
May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health.
Preserves Your Memory
Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body
Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body. In one study, poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease was associated with the development of pneumonia in older people. Bacteria in the mouth can travel into the lungs, causing infection or worsening of lung conditions.
Helps Keep Blood Sugar Stable if You Have Diabetes
People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease.
Helps in Pregnancy
Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, low-birth-weight infants.