The mouth seems like such a small part of the human body, but in fact, our oral health greatly affects our overall health. The mouth is interconnected with the body’s organs, and shares in the blood, nerve and muscle systems. Inflammation, disease, decay or other problems in the mouth can actually contribute to greater instance of heart disease, increase opportunity for lung infections, and over time, degrade our body’s ability to function properly. In fact, according to the NYU College of Dentistry, in 2010, after 20 years of reviewing data, researchers from New York University found that there is a significant link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease .
With proper oral care, we can increase our quality of life, and our total health. This video made by the Department of Dentistry at Mount Sinai Hospital, shows how our mouth health leads to better overall health: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdngmVA9xsI.
Further, our emotional health gets a terrific boost from having a clean, bright smile to share with the world. The Canadian Dental Association states, “Good oral health contributes positively to your physical, mental and social well-being and to the enjoyment of life’s possibilities, by allowing you to speak, eat and socialize unhindered by pain, discomfort or embarrassment.”
Brushing and flossing are fundamental for maintaining good oral health, but regular visits to the dentist insures that our teeth and gums stay healthy. Our mouths have many nooks and corners we can’t reach on our own at home where bacteria can grow or disease may be present. Regular dental appointments help to reduce bacteria and maintain healthy gums and your total oral health. Additionally, dentists are trained to identify any problems or diagnose disease, for example, by performing oral cancer screenings, and can take action or refer you to the appropriate resources.