Don’t Risk Your Health: Learn Why a Nice Smile Is Directly Linked to Your Overall Well-Being

“Nice teeth” are fiercely sought after — over 50% of U.S. men and women say that a great smile is an appealing physical trait that lasts well-beyond age 50, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). A whopping 96% of Americans admit that a nice smile makes potential partners more attractive, and almost a third have confessed that the appearance of their teeth “concerns them.”

With that in mind, it may surprise you to learn dental health isn’t just about your looks. In other words, while you may covet the perfect set of pearly whites, there are legitimate health reasons for you to straighten your teeth and fastidiously maintain your oral health as well. Let’s take a look at a few:

Oral Hygiene and Heart Health Are Closely Linked

Are you seeking cosmetic dentistry to finally fix that overbite? What you may not know is that it’s not just about how you look. Fixing overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth can make it easier to clean teeth and maintain your overall dental and oral health. Why is that important? An increasing number of studies show that oral hygiene and heart health are very closely linked — enough so that you can’t afford not to pay attention.

“Adults between the ages of 40 and 79 who brushed their teeth three or more times a day had a 10% lower risk of atrial fibrillation and a 12% lower risk of heart failure,” Science Alert writes. The study adjusted for nearly all variables, including age and alcohol use, and the results remained the same.

It’s not entirely clear why this is the case. Scientists and researchers, however, theorize that frequent tooth brushing reduces levels of bacteria in blood. Left unchecked, that bacteria leads to inflammation and heart problems. So, bust out your toothbrush! Perfectly white teeth look good but, more importantly, they’re critical to your heart health.

Heartburn? Your Teeth Can Cause That, Too

The more stubborn among us may avoid the dentist and/or cosmetic dentistry for a number of reasons. Anxieties, dental care costs, whatever the case may be. It’s critically important for you to stay on top of dental and oral health, however, and the reasons may not be what you expect.

Did you know that poor oral hygiene can cause heartburn, an upset stomach, or indigestion? Now you know! Infrequent tooth brushing and infrequent flossing can lead to a whole host of problems, like sensitive teeth and bleeding gums. Consequently, Americans with sensitive teeth and bleeding gums don’t chew their food properly or wholly. Unfortunately, these habits can lead to indigestion and heartburn.

“Bad” Teeth May Lead To Stroke, Pneumonia, and Diabetes

It may sound farcical, but it’s not. Yes, neglecting to brush your teeth and floss can have dire consequences, resulting in stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, and HIV/AIDs.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth and gums are the first to “show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection.” Similarly, people with diabetes are more prone to periodontal disease, bad gums, and unhealthy teeth. Again, this correlation comes down to an excess of bacteria and resulting inflammation. An excess of bacteria can ultimately lead to all of these systemic disease, and the source of that bacteria can easily be your mouth. Do what you can to maintain your oral health. Brush your teeth, floss, and go to your dentist for a minimum of two cleanings per year to keep bacteria levels low and relatively risk-free.

That’s Not All Folks: More Health Conditions From Insufficient Dental Care

The more we learn about teeth, the more we understand that what may pass as cosmetic dentistry may actually improve your overall health. In addition to previously mentioned health conditions, poor oral hygiene and bad teeth are also linked with premature birth weight and complications during pregnancy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

How important is it for you to take care of your gums and teeth? Simply put, the importance of good oral hygiene and dental care cannot be stressed enough. Sure, fixing an overbite or crossbite may improve the appearance of your smile, but it makes it easier to clean, too. Remember: maintaining your smile is key for avoiding a slew of risks and disease. Contact Railroad Dental Associates for a healthy smile you’ll love.