Better Living through Dental Health

By Dr. Elizabeth Fleming
December 31, 2013
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Better Living through Dental Health

Did you know that a healthy mouth means a healthy body…a healthy heart…even a healthy sex life?  It’s true!  And just by changing certain habits related to oral hygiene you can improve the health of your mouth and teeth and lessen your risk for a whole host of illnesses.

“You cannot be healthy with an unhealthy mouth any more than one can be healthy with an infected foot,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association and a former clinical instructor at the Boston University Dental School.

He’s absolutely right.

Researchers at the ADA have found that periodontitis (the advanced form of periodontal disease that can cause tooth loss) is linked with health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.  It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. Gingivitis (oral inflammation due to bacteria) may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. 

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Love Life

There’s nothing like bad breath to turn off the opposite sex.  22-year-old UK superstar Joss Stone famously remarked, “There’s nothing worse than bad breath. I’ve snogged people with bad breath who smelt of (cigarettes) and beer and it made me feel sick.

Joss isn’t alone.  A report from a US mouthwash company revealed that nearly three quarters of the people polled said they wouldn’t let a person they found attractive kiss them if they had bad breath. 

Plus, simply worrying about your partner smelling and/or kissing your malodorous mouth can take the joy and spontaneity out of your sex life.  Good oral health literally ‘takes the worry out of being close’ as they used to say in the Ban deodorant ads.

So improving your sex life means doing things that improve your blood flow, and that means taking care of your teeth and gums.


Attention Mothers-to-Be

Pregnant women with periodontitis may be at increased risk of delivering preterm and/or low-birth-weight infants. The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins, which interfere with the growth and development of the baby.  At the same time, oral infection can cause a mother to produce labor-triggering substances too quickly, potentially triggering premature labor and birth.

And some studies suggest that periodontitis can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar!


Your Dentist is Also Your Doctor

Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, detecting the early signs and symptoms of systemic disease — a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body, not just one of its parts.  Many diseases, including diabetes, often first become apparent as oral problems. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.

So what does the health of your mouth have to do with your overall health? In a word, plenty. It’s just one more reason that regular dental check-ups are so important. We at Desert Ridge Smiles will check your blood pressure, go over your medications and evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums.  Our goal is to move toward overall health for our patients.  Make your appointment today!  480-860-4300