We all understand and know the importance of brushing our teeth twice daily and visiting the dentist regularly to stay on top of our oral health.
But as dentists, we know more than most that taking the trip to prevent bad teeth is not always at the top of our patients’ to-do list.
However, with new research showing that dental health is connected to a number of diseases, visiting the dentist regularly should be your main priority.
Healthy teeth can do more than giving you a nice-looking smile
We’re all pretty much obsessed with how our smiles look. According to the latest research, having clean and healthy smiles is more important to your overall health than you might have thought.
Healthy teeth achieved through regular dental check-ups and hygiene sessions can extend your life span and prevent you from illnesses such as anaemia, diabetes and heart problems.
Through extensive research, scientists have discovered, for example, a link between gum disease, which affects half the UK population, and other illnesses. The experts have disclosed links between gum disease and high blood pressure, lung disease and diabetes.
Self-defence mechanisms of microbes in the mouth caused by gum disease can cause blood clots. When bacteria enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums, a protein is deployed that forces platelets to bind together and shield the bugs with clots – hence causing blood clots, which can be deadly.
Gum disease is linked to everything from premature deaths to pneumonia and has also been connected to heart attacks.
You’ve heard it before, and we’ll remind you again: beware of sugar
Specialist in periodontics, Dr Kaimakamis comments that:
“Gum disease is very preventable. In its early stages, like gingivitis, it’s also completely reversible, but if you let it go beyond that, you’ll likely suffer from gum disease forever. So, prevention and action are key. But you, as the patient, have to put in the work to get your gums and teeth cleaned professionally and regularly – and with that, you can potentially reduce the risk of developing general conditions.”
A trip to the dentist will undoubtedly help you identify early signs of gum disease – but as you are also responsible for your own oral healthcare at home, you must make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day as well as gargling mouthwash for extra protection. Plus, don’t forget to floss!
Regular dental check-ups also keep you safe from cancer
Early detection is key with mouth cancer, with 90% of mouth cancers affecting men and 85% affecting women.
For example, the HPV virus is one of the leading causes of oropharyngeal cancer. By detecting the condition early, the survival outcome is 90% as opposed to 50% if the diagnosis is delayed.
Trained dental professionals know what to look for during your check-up and can detect lesions before they become cancerous by conducting several diagnostic tests.