Taking care of your teeth is not just about making sure your mouth is kiss-worthy and picture perfect. Believe it or not, oral hygiene plays an important role in your overall health as well. Not only do cavities and gum disease affect how your mouth feels, the bacteria they carry can lead to worse problems, including heart disease, sleep disorders, and dementia. Here is how poor oral hygiene could be linked to these three factors.
Poor oral hygiene can cause heart disease
There have been several studies conducted on this subject. And although the results are not yet conclusive, many researchers and doctors believe that there is a definite link between periodontal disease and heart disease. It is believed that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream, increasing the factors that cause cardiovascular disease and the possibility of stroke. Prevention is the best medicine in any case involving your health, so the best cure is to take care of your mouth. And if you have children, teach them about oral hygiene while they are young. It’s recommended that children see a pediatric dentist as early as six months of age. You can help them to get a head start on their health by helping them maintain good habits.
Poor oral hygiene can affect your sleep
Of course having a toothache can affect your sleep negatively. But more surprising might be the fact that studies actually show a link between bad oral hygiene and insomnia. Getting enough sleep is vital to our energy, liveliness, and cognitive alertness for anyone. But this particular study focused on a group of college students. The students who did not comply with oral treatment and hygiene regimes were found to suffer from depression and negative self-assessment. In turn, this caused fatigue, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in self-care, and a lack of liveliness.
While more studies need to be conducted to determine the actual connection, it seems that oral hygiene and sleep adversely affect one another. In other words, a lack of sleep may lead to bad oral hygiene and vice versa. If getting the right amount of sleep is an issue to you, it’s important to speak to your doctor about it right away. There are some natural and prescription remedies that can help or you might need to visit a sleep disorders institute to determine the problem.
Poor oral hygiene can affect your memory
Just in the last ten years or so, researchers have begun to discover the link between oral hygiene and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because of the fact that diseases like periodontal disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and enter the brain. And just like that bacteria can cause heart problems, it can also cause problems with brain functions that can lead to dementia.
Protecting your health with good oral hygiene
Many health problems can be linked to poor oral hygiene, and bad oral health can be indicative of various health problems. In many cases, one might not cause the other, but the fact that your oral health should be a priority is indisputable. You should visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months. And you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, as well as scrubbing bacteria away from your tongue. Also pay attention to symptoms such as headaches and toothaches that may indicate oral health problems that need immediate attention. Taking care of your mouth could help prevent some serious diseases, allowing you to live longer, healthier life.