Your oral health is directly linked to your overall wellness. When you don't receive good dental care and don't brush and floss correctly, you risk more than tooth loss.
Your dentist in Madison, AL, follows guidelines by the American Dental Association, recommending two checkups and teeth cleanings per year. But, of course, a more customized schedule may be in order if you have a specific oral health condition like gum disease.
Let's explore four ways oral health impacts more than your teeth and gums.
#1 Oral Health and Self-Esteem
If your teeth are discolored and neglected, smiling is a real challenge. You find yourself hiding your teeth when you laugh, and you're just not comfortable interacting with friends and colleagues.
Not having a positive sense of self can seriously affect your mental health. In addition, low self-esteem coupled with general life stresses can find you feeling down.
Your dentist can help. And the team at Gibson Dental holds no judgments. We understand how circumstances and phobia can keep patients from visiting the dentist. Our only goal is to save your smile and help restore your emotional well-being.
#2 Oral Health and Chronic Bad Breath
Bad breath can indicate underlying health conditions. However, if you're not brushing and flossing effectively or seeing your dentist for routine teeth cleanings, bacteria and tartar can form on the teeth, leading to bad breath (and tooth decay).
Bad breath is also a sign of gum disease, a severe condition affecting many body systems, including the heart and lungs.
#3 Oral Health and Thrush
Thrush is essentially a yeast infection of the oral cavity. If you have thrush, you may notice white and even red patches anywhere in the mouth, including on the tongue.
Thrush may result from antibiotic care or immunosuppressant therapies, but it can also result from lackluster oral hygiene.
You'll typically need a special mouth rinse and treatment if you have oral thrush. However, it sometimes clears up on its own with diligent oral hygiene sessions.
#4 Oral Health and Gum Disease
Gum disease is about more than your teeth. Yes, it leads to tooth loss without proper treatment, but it can also affect other body systems. For example, studies and evidence link gum disease to the following health issues:
- Heart problems
- Lung problems
- Low birth weight
- Preterm labor
- Alzheimer's disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- And more!
Gum disease is preventable with regular checkups, teeth cleanings, and brushing and flossing at least twice daily.
With regular dental care, your dentist can diagnose gum disease in the gingivitis stage; at this point, it is still reversible. When it becomes periodontitis, we can treat it but can no longer cure it. However, treatment significantly reduces your body's health risks and the threat of tooth loss.
Preventive Dentistry in Madison, AL
Regarding long-term wellness, preventive dental care is just as crucial as the physicals you undergo with your general practitioner.
In our dental office, you can count on a compassionate team who has your best interests at heart. We want you to enjoy a healthy smile and feel comfortable under our care.
Your preventive dental appointment includes:
- A comprehensive visual exam of your teeth and gums
- An oral cancer screening for early detection
- A thorough teeth cleaning that clears tartar from the teeth and gums
- X-rays if we have no recent films on file
We may also discuss dental sealants and fluoride treatments as needed.
Your teeth cleaning rids your mouth of the ingredients that cause cavities, gum disease, and oral infections. In addition, your dental checkup helps your dentist diagnose conditions early for the best outcome.
How You Contribute to Your Healthy Smile
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and be sure to clean all surfaces. Try a circular motion that includes the gums. And always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss at least once daily, using a clean string section for every pass-through. Otherwise, you are only moving debris around.
- If you notice an oral health change like tooth sensitivity or a sore that does not heal, contact us for an assessment.
A dental team member can provide visual instructions to help you make the most of your at-home smile care.
Contact Your Madison, AL Dentist Today
Remember, taking care of your smile also helps you take care of your whole body. And it's never too late to take charge of your oral health.
To arrange a visit with the dentist, give us a call today.