What do you think of when you hear the phrase “oral health”? Having no new cavities at your dental checkup is part of oral health, but there is so much more to maintaining and supporting oral health. Good oral health means having a mouth free from disease, from mild gingivitis to oral cancer. It can also mean having a well-functioning bite and a smile that you feel confident about.
As a whole, oral health is a vital component of general health and well-being.
Many oral health concerns start out small and are easy to treat. Without being addressed, these issues can become far more complicated, painful, and expensive. Some oral health issues have even been linked to health concerns and conditions elsewhere in the body.
Gingivitis, for example, can progress to periodontal disease if it is not addressed. This type of gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. Lost teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw and result in a lack of adequate nutrition.
Severe gum disease has even been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified CVD as one of the major illnesses plaguing the United States today.
The moral of the story is this: routine dental care maintenance is essential to maintaining overall health.
What You Can Do to Stay Healthy
One of the most important things you can do to make sure your oral cavity is healthy and disease free is to maintain a consistent dental hygiene routine. Dental hygiene involves brushing with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque from your teeth twice per day and flossing at least once per day. The bacteria that grow in plaque’s biofilm is the source of most oral problems and oral disease.
Nutrition and lifestyle also play a factor in maintaining your oral health. You may not have control over the hereditary factors that place you at greater risk for developing gum disease, but you do have some control over your diet and exercise habits. By avoiding tobacco and tobacco products, diets high in sugar, and a sedentary lifestyle, you can help boost your oral and overall health. Visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings is also a powerful lifestyle choice.
How Dentistry Can Help
Visiting the dentist only when you have an issue means that you are missing out on some important benefits of dental care. Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health. As such, they offer numerous preventive services to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.
At regular exams, for instance, your dentist will evaluate you for signs of oral cancer, decay, gum disease, and infections. Your teeth will be cleaned more thoroughly than they can be cleaned at home. You can also have any of your questions answered and bring concerns you might have to your dental care team.
Many of us do not understand precisely how tooth decay, gum health, and oral hygiene impact our bodies. We are happy to help bridge the gap. With state-of-the-art technology and a team of people passionate about oral health, our dental practice in Elkin, NC, is here to serve our patients with the best in dental care and health maintenance. From oral hygiene to the link between oral diseases and systemic issues, we are happy to help.
Rather than allowing small issues to become huge concerns, make an appointment with our office. Regular checkups save time, pain, and costs. Regular checkups can even mean the difference between losing and saving your teeth. We are eager to partner with our patients to take all of the necessary steps toward a healthy future.
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