Many people are familiar with the saying ‘The eyes are the window of the soul’ but what you may not have known is that many dentists support the notion that the mouth is a reflection of the rest of the body. Numerous studies have backed this idea with researchers linking poor oral health to a host of conditions, from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Oral health is extremely important for general health and the relationship between the mouth and the rest of the body is much more involved than you may think. In recent years, a number of studies conducted all over the world have suggested that poor oral health is linked to an increased risk of several serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. These include strokes, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers believe that inflammation associated with gum disease can trigger harmful responses in other parts of the body since bacteria from the mouth travels in the bloodstream.
Your mouth often indicates how well you look after the rest of your body. If you neglect your teeth it is more likely that you are neglecting the rest of your body. Signs like tooth decay, staining, and crumbling teeth can indicate poor hygiene, and a diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals and underlying health conditions.
Surveys show that most people value their smile as their most important physical feature, so it’s no surprise that people who like their smile have higher levels of confidence than those who are embarrassed or ashamed of their teeth. Good oral health is associated with high self-esteem and confidence, which can have positive implications for many areas of life, from relationships to career success.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is important and will do the rest of your body absolutely no harm. Brushing your teeth, flossing and using mouthwash will help to keep oral diseases at bay, reducing the risk of other illnesses and infections, as well an ensuring your smile looks healthy. Visiting your dentist for a regular check-up (every 6-12 months) is also essential for good oral health. Your dentist can spot early warning signs of gum disease and decay, which enables them to recommend treatment early and is also important for the early detection of potentially deadly diseases, such as diabetes and oral cancer.
Regular dental appointments are particularly important for pregnant women, as the hormones associated with pregnancy increase the risk of gum disease, which has been linked to premature birth and complications during labor.
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