There is a growing body of evidence that suggests there is a strong relationship between preventative dentistry and physical health. Dental care is an important part of overall health care, and many health care agencies are now recommending that people visit their dentist at least once a year for a check-up.
Some research has shown that poor dental health can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. There is also evidence to suggest that people with gum disease are more likely to develop respiratory problems, such as pneumonia. Let’s take a deeper look at the relationship between dentistry and physical health.
What Is Preventative Dental Care?
Preventative dental care is all about keeping your mouth healthy and free from disease. This includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as visiting your dentist for check-ups and cleanings. By keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can help prevent serious health problems down the road.
What Defines Good Physical Health?
Good physical health is defined as being free from serious illnesses or injuries. Physical health also includes having the energy and strength to live a full and active life. When you are physically healthy, you feel good and can do the things you enjoy.
How Dental Care Affects Physical Health
The gums and teeth are essential for good physical health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, which is a serious condition that can damage the gums and bones around the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease can also be an indicator of other serious health problems. For example, people with gum disease are more likely to develop respiratory problems, such as pneumonia. This is because bacteria from the mouth can enter the lungs and cause an infection. Luckily, respiratory therapy can help people with this issue to manage their condition and improve their overall health.
You can develop heart disease from the bacteria that results from periodontal disease. The bacteria can enter your bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in your arteries. This can cause the plaques to grow larger and eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Diabetes is another condition that can be affected by gum disease. People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing gum disease because they have a harder time fighting off infection. Gum disease can also make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Thankfully, good dental care can help people with diabetes to manage their condition and improve their overall health.
In addition to gum disease, poor dental hygiene can also lead to other oral health problems, such as tooth decay and bad breath. These problems can not only be painful, but they can also hurt your overall physical health. For example, tooth decay can lead to infections that can spread throughout the body. Bad breath is often a sign of other health problems, such as digestive issues.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph nodes are often a sign of an infection, such as the common cold or flu. However, they can also be a sign of something more serious, such as cancer. If you have swollen lymph nodes that last for more than a week or two, it’s important to see your doctor or a medical professional.
In some cases, swollen lymph nodes can be caused by dental problems. For example, an abscessed tooth can cause the lymph nodes in the neck to swell. If you have swollen lymph nodes that are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or night sweats, it’s important to see your dentist or throat doctor right away.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. In some cases, wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they grow in at an angle and become stuck beneath the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful and can lead to other oral health problems.
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely recommend that they be removed. This is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in the office. In some cases, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital.
In terms of physical health, wisdom teeth removal is a very important procedure. This is because impacted wisdom teeth can lead to infections, cysts, and tumors. If left untreated, these problems can cause serious damage to the jawbone and surrounding tissues. If wisdom teeth begin causing pain, it can affect your eating habits and lead to weight loss.
By having normal preventative care and screenings, your dentist will be able to monitor your wisdom teeth and make sure they are growing in properly. If they do become impacted, your dentist will likely recommend that they be removed to prevent any future problems. If you don’t practice good oral hygiene, your wisdom teeth can come in decayed, which can lead to pain and/or infections.
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems. They occur when plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth and cause the enamel to break down. Cavities can be very painful and can lead to other oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
If you end up with too much tooth decay, your teeth may begin to crack or break. This can lead to tooth loss or expensive restorative procedures like root canals and crowns. Without a decent set of functioning teeth, it can affect your eating habits. If eating normal healthy foods like crunchy fruits and vegetables becomes too painful, you may turn to softer foods that are easier to chew. This can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
How Physical Health Affects Dental Health
When the body is sick, you can still see the connection between dentistry and physical health. While dealing with a physical illness, it’s easy for the mouth to get neglected. This is because people often don’t feel like brushing their teeth or flossing when they’re not feeling well. However, this can lead to more problems down the road. For example, if you have a cold or the flu, you may be more likely to develop cavities or other dental problems.
Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause side effects that affect the mouth. For example, these treatments can cause dry mouth, which can lead to cavities and other dental problems. These treatments can also make the teeth more sensitive to decay. It’s important to see your dentist regularly so they can monitor your oral health and make sure you’re staying on top of your dental care.
Pregnancy can also cause changes in the mouth that may lead to cavities or other problems. For example, pregnancy can cause morning sickness, which can lead to stomach acids coming up into the mouth and breaking down the enamel on the teeth. This is why pregnant women need to see their dentist regularly and brush their teeth after each episode of morning sickness. Pregnancy can also cause gum disease, so it’s important to keep up with good oral hygiene habits.
Stress in Physical Form
Stress can also have an impact on your oral and physical health. When you’re stressed, you may grind your teeth or clench your jaw. This can lead to problems like TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding). These problems can cause pain in the jaw and face, as well as damage to the teeth. It’s important to find ways to relax and reduce stress in your life so you can avoid these problems.
You may want to consider a visit to a marijuana doctor if you’re experiencing stress-related dental problems. Marijuana has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help alleviate pain.
Botox injections can help relax the muscles in the face and jaw, which can reduce teeth grinding and clenching. It can also help with TMJ disorder. If you’re dealing with any of these problems, it’s important to see your dentist and research local physical therapist offices so they can help you find the best treatment options.
Your diet can also impact your oral and physical health. Eating sugary and acidic foods can lead to cavities. These foods can also break down the enamel on your teeth, which can make them more susceptible to decay. If you eat a lot of sugary and acidic foods, you may also be at risk of developing gum disease. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary and acidic foods whenever possible.
Eating food with organic lecithins can help reduce cavities by helping to remove plaque from the teeth. They can also help strengthen the enamel. You can find organic lecithins in foods like eggs, soybeans, and nuts. You can also take supplements that contain organic lecithins.
Dentistry and Physical Health Connection From Childhood
It’s important to start taking your child to the dentist early. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. This is because tooth decay can begin as soon as teeth come in. It’s important to get your child into a good oral hygiene routine early so they can avoid cavities and other problems later in life.
A child’s baby teeth are important for the proper development of the mouth, jaws, and face. They also help a child learn to speak clearly and chew properly. Baby teeth hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth that come in later. When baby teeth are lost too early, permanent teeth can come in crooked. Prevention is always better (and cheaper) than treatment, so it’s important to take your child to the dentist early and often.
Making sure your child has healthy teeth ties into a healthy developing body. A recent study from the AAPD found that children with cavities are three times more likely to have asthma and two times more likely to develop obesity. So, not only is it important to take your child to the dentist for their oral health, but also for their overall physical health.
How Preventative Care Can Help
Preventative dental care is the best way to avoid dental and physical health problems. Seeing your dentist regularly can help catch problems early and prevent them from getting worse. Bacteria in the mouth not only affect teeth and gum but can wreak havoc on the heart, lungs, and brain as well.
Eating a balanced diet, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing regularly can also help reduce your risk for cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. Nutrient-dense food help build strong teeth and prevent cavities. Foods like leafy greens, cheese, and chicken are all good choices. These can all lead to cavities and other dental problems.
Regular physical activity can also help reduce your risk for cavities and other dental problems. Exercise helps increase saliva flow, which can help remove plaque from the teeth. It can also help reduce stress, which can lead to teeth grinding and clenching.
Mental and Physical therapists can help you find ways to reduce anxiety and the physical effects of stress, which can also help reduce your risk for dental problems. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to reduce stress. Rehab and physical therapy can also help with conditions like TMJ disorder and bruxism.
There is a clear connection between dentistry and physical health. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental ailments. These problems can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and even dementia. So, it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent not only dental problems but also physical health problems.
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