The benefits of healthy teeth reach far beyond fresh breath and a celebrity smile.
In our country there has been a separation between healthcare and dental care. Our mouths are part of our bodies, so it would make sense that we focus on the health of our mouths as much as we focus on the health of our bodies. But we still haven’t begun to understand that connection as a nation, and our system reflects that.
Today we hope to help you learn about these 4 ways in which the health of your mouth affects your life and overall health.
1. Good oral health saves money. Prevention costs less than combatting a major dental problem. In 2012, bad oral health cost the U.S. Health Care System $1.6 billion for dental emergency room visits, with the average cost per person person at $749. An earlier study by the American Dental Association showed that people were seeking medical attention for dental problems that could have been prevented with regular visits to a dentist. In 2000, 1.1 million emergency room visits accounted for dental issues, while in 2010 the number increased to 2.1 million. Another recent study provided by the ADA shows that the number of emergency department visits increased from 2.11 million in 2010 to 2.18 million in 2012. The old adage is still true, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.
2. A healthy mouth may mean a healthy pregnancy. During pregnancy, women can experience an increase in gingivitis and periodontal disease. Some research has indicated that pregnant women with poor oral health may be at a higher risk of premature labor or low birth weight babies. The bacteria that causes inflammation can reach the bloodstream and affect the developing baby, causing low birth weight. It’s important for pregnant women to brush, floss, and visit their dentist during their pregnancy.
3. Healthy teeth may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. The benefits of healthy teeth may include a decreased risk in cardiovascular disease. Some studies suggest that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease. It’s also thought that periodontal disease can aggravate those with heart conditions.
4. It reduces your risk of oral cancer. Good oral health can prevent or reduce the risk of oral cancer. Those who smoke, chew tobacco, drink excessively, and have poor oral health are at a higher risk of oral cancer. Your dentist is one of the reasons you enjoy the benefits of having healthy teeth, so don’t skip those regular check-ups.
The importance of good oral hygiene provides you with more than a beautiful smile; it can make the difference for your overall health! If it’s been quite some time since you’ve seen a dentist, then please contact Penn Dental Family Practice today!