The Importance of Oral Health

The key to great oral health is practicing good oral hygiene and visiting a dentist regularly. With all the advancements in dentistry, dentists are able to identify oral issues early on and perform measures that will help keep your mouth healthy. 

While the concept of this sounds simple, 42 percent of Americans admit they do not make time to see the dentist as often as they should. This statistic from the American Dental Association shows that neglecting oral health is a far too common trend. 

Americans recognize the importance of oral health, but it is often seen as secondary to their overall health. So when families are struggling to juggle everything their busy lives entail, they may make time to see a general doctor but hardly ever for the dentist.

Is Oral Health Important?

While there’s no denying the value of oral health, many people don’t understand just how important it is. And to prove this statement, let’s look at the statistics for how many people ignore their cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16.9 percent of children between the ages of 5 to 19, and 31.6 percent of adults aged 20 to 44 have untreated cavities. These numbers are astounding because the significance of a cavity is widely known. 

Cavities are a sign of tooth decay that should be addressed immediately. These small holes that develop in one’s teeth will get larger over time. If they continue to be ignored, cavities can cause severe pain when they reach the root and can eventually require a root canal or complete extraction of the tooth.

How Can I Improve My Oral Health?

Dental care is a lifelong process that starts as soon as we grow teeth. While the first few years we depend on our parents to take care of our precious teeth, it’s up to us to develop good oral hygiene after that. This process needs to be embedded into our daily routine. To ensure you’re giving your oral hygiene the attention it needs and to prevent oral health problems, follow these tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Use mouthwash to get rid of any remaining food particles
  • Clean your tongue
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Limit your snacking
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Avoid smoking and vaping
  • Visit a dentist regularly
  • Attend to any dental issues as soon as

What Can Bad Oral Health Lead To?

When dental issues are left untreated, you will develop some type of oral disease. The three most common ones are cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. 

Your tooth enamel is often the first one to suffer when you neglect your oral health. Your tooth enamel protects the insides of your teeth. The buildup of bacteria in your mouth caused by left behind food particles from starches and sugars produces this plaque. And the acidity of plaque is what wears down your enamel. 

Left untreated this process will continue causing cavities and gum disease along the way.

Does Your Dental Health Affect Your Overall Health?

In addition to the myriad of dental issues poor oral hygiene will cause, it can also lead to some very serious health problems. While we see a doctor for issues with our overall health and a dentist for our oral health, the two fields are extremely connected. When you neglect your oral health, the condition of your mouth isn’t the only part of your body that will be affected. 

Poor dental hygiene has a direct effect on your overall health. Studies have shown that it can increase the risk of endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and pregnancy complications. And the main reasoning for this is that bacteria from your mouth are not restricted to that area, they can travel through to other parts.

Studies have also shown that certain health conditions can affect the strength of your oral health. For example, oral health and diabetes need to be watched out for. Because diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight infections, it can increase the risk of gum disease. 

Your oral health is so closely linked to your overall health, and it’s extremely important that you discuss any existing health conditions with your dentist. They will have a better idea of your increased risks.

What Can You Do for Your Oral Health Today?

You should be brushing and flossing everyday, but that alone is not enough for your dental health. If you haven’t seen a dentist in the past couple of months, you’re overdue for a visit. The reality is that without a degree in dental hygiene, you’re not going to be able to identify whether you have dental issues that need to be addressed immediately. And seeing a dentist when you’re in pain is often too late. At 4Smile, we know that a healthy smile can go a long way. Start giving your dental hygiene the attention it needs today, use our search bar above to find a dental office near you that fits your needs.

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Disclaimer: These FAQs are meant to provide general information about dental conditions and treatments. The FAQ does not provide medical advice, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. 4smile.com provides no warranty and accepts no liability for the information disclosed here. for medical advice see your local dentist. Terms and Policy