Focusing on one’s dental health can be tricky, in this day and age when there are so many elements of health competing for our attention. Barely a day goes by when there is not some focus in news and lifestyle outlets on something that had flown under the radar or some health-related aspect of a current affairs story. Set against all of that, how much thought do you put into the whiteness of your teeth and the straightness of your smile?
As you may already know, it’s really not an either/or thing, and additionally, the importance of dental health goes some way beyond the aesthetic. So, if you’ll pardon the pun, let’s drill down into why you might want to keep regular appointments with your dentist and look at some of the lesser-known details about dental and oral health.
Having some bacteria in your mouth is a good thing
Whenever you hear about oral bacteria, it’s easy to get in the mindset that they’re generally a bad thing. After all, bacteria play a part in tooth decay, bad breath, and gingivitis, so it’s obvious why you’d want to get rid of them. However, as in the rest of the body, there is a clear demarcation between good and bad oral bacteria. Some bacteria play an essential part in neutralizing bad breath odors, and others can keep gum disease at bay. If you’re regularly washing with antibacterial mouthwash, pause and check exactly which bacteria it’s working against – because it might not be the best choice in an already healthy mouth.
Gum disease and diabetes are strongly linked
Anyone with Type 2 diabetes will likely already have been warned of its tendency to not only cause and aggravate gum disease but also its links to more aggressive forms of gum disease. What is less well-known is that the link between diabetes and gum disease is two-way: if you have gum disease, you should get checked for diabetic factors. Indeed, diabetes is one of many non-oral health conditions that your dentist may be the first to warn you about – others include anemia and heart disease.
Dental problems do not go away without treatment
A tooth issue, once it is in place within your mouth, is there to stay. That is, of course, unless you get it treated. Many of us are used to responding to a health issue by playing for time – chances are you’ve had a cough or a blemish that sounded or looked concerning, but which went away in due course without intervention. Dental issues don’t, unfortunately, do the same. If you have a cavity, it will get bigger. If you have an infection, it will spread. The only time at which the pain is likely to stop is if the issue destroys the nerve itself. And that’s still a bad thing. So if you’re experiencing an oral health issue, just get it fixed. You never know what else might be discovered that you really need to know about.
This is a collaborative post.