How Your Health Can Benefit from Regular General Dentist Visits
An appointment with a general dentist provides many benefits beyond cleaning the teeth. Oral hygiene is important to help maintain functions like chewing, swallowing, or speaking, but there is also a link between an individual’s overall health and oral health. Routine dental exams support good personal health.
What is the connection between physical health and oral health?
The body is a complex system of many parts working to protect each other and promote optimal functioning. The mouth is the primary gateway to the interior of the body, and it is one of the largest bacteria gathering spots on the body. Any bacteria that enters through the mouth has a direct passageway to the respiratory and digestive tracts. The mouth is a key entry point for bacteria carrying diseases, illnesses, or viruses.
Warding off potential health concerns
Through the guidance of a general dentist, a routine for good oral hygiene can have a significant impact on an individual’s health. Brushing and flossing each day keeps bacteria from breeding and getting ingested by the body. Bacteria that is allowed to build up can lead to oral infections, creating conditions like gum disease or tooth decay. A thorough dental exam reveals if these conditions are present.
Links to bodily areas
There are many serious health conditions linked to bacteria entering through the mouth. Endocarditis is an infection that can develop within the lining of the heart, and pneumonia is a lung condition that can develop from certain bacteria that gets pulled down into the respiratory system. There is also concern that gum disease can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Less noticeable connections
For those who have trouble sleeping at night, a visit to the dentist may determine what the problem is. A general dentist looks carefully at the placement and alignment of the teeth, the size of the jaw and tongue, or the color of the throat. Through this exam, a patient may be diagnosed with sleep apnea and receive a referral for further analysis. Poor dietary habits may also be discussed if the dentist discovers cavities or decay in the teeth. Adjusting an unhealthy diet can have a significant positive impact on the rest of the body.
Is there a connection between oral health and mental health?
Mental health does not always get the attention it needs, but regular visits to a general dentist can also influence this area of health. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss, either from extraction or natural loss. Gaps between teeth or misalignment can occur because of missing teeth, potentially altering a person’s appearance. Extreme self-consciousness or anxiety about appearance can lead to depression and other mental health concerns. Scheduling a routine checkup can not only prevent these situations but also present solutions.
There are many areas of an individual’s overall health that can be impacted by oral hygiene and health. Keeping regular general dentist visits benefits both areas of wellness.
Request an appointment or call Dennis Baik, DDS at 408-676-5321 for an appointment in our San Jose office.
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