A healthy smile, white teeth, and fresh breath are the first things that come to your mind when talking about oral hygiene. But good oral hygiene is about more than just clean teeth and a fresh breath. There is growing evidence that links general health to oral hygiene. Research shows that your mouth reflects the state of your body. Hence, taking good care of your mouth not only keeps your teeth and gums stronger but also helps you maintain your overall health. The following reasons highlight the importance of dental hygiene.
Prolonged exposure to plaque causes gum inflammation and gum diseases. Poor oral hygiene results in plaque buildup in your mouth. The plaque penetrates your gums causing infection and swelling and eventually resulting in gum diseases. Moreover, people with periodontal diseases are at a greater risk for cardiovascular conditions. Practicing good dental hygiene makes sure your mouth is free of plaque, resulting in healthy gums.
The relation between diabetes and oral health is two way. While it is known that people with diabetes are prone to gum diseases, studies also show that serious gum diseases may contribute to diabetes. Poor oral hygiene leads to gum diseases, which in turn has the potential to affect the blood glucose levels and result in diabetes. Therefore, maintaining your oral health reduces the risk of diabetes, especially when the disease has been on a rise.
Maintain Overall Health
Your mouth is a window to what is going on inside your body. It often serves as a tool for detecting the early signs and symptoms of various chronic diseases. Conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, etc, first become apparent as oral problems. In addition to that, oral cancer may also begin without giving out noticeable symptoms. Hence, good oral hygiene helps in prevention of severe health conditions. Regular dental checkups, being a vital part of oral care also helps in early detection and cure.
Better Nutrition and Digestion
You use your teeth for chewing, which is the first step in the digestive process. Poor oral habits lead to cavities, tooth loss, gum inflammation, all of which hamper your ability to properly chew food. In addition to that, you may turn away from several healthy and crunchy foods because of the pain in your teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene lets you have healthy teeth and gums for improved digestion and nutrition.
Regular dental checkups become even more important during pregnancy. Poor oral hygiene has shown to increase the chance of premature birth and low birth weight. Babies prematurely born or with a low birth weight have a high risk of complications, including developmental problems, asthma, birth abnormalities, and also infant death. Hence, pregnant women should be cautious about their oral health not only for themselves but also for their babies.
The importance of dental hygiene has been taught since childhood. Everything you do to keep your mouth clean and healthy counts as good oral hygiene. This includes regular brushing, flossing, using a mouthwash, and regular dental checkups. In addition to general care, you must consult a dentist for regular checkups to maintain a good oral hygiene.