Regular dental check-ups contribute to a good smile and optimal dental health. In addition, regular visits to a dentist will inform you about your general health and whether you may develop certain diseases such as diabetes. Current research indicates that the health of your mouth is an indication of the state of your overall physical health.
For example, if your dental health is up to date, chances are that your overall health is also good. Alternatively, poor dental health can lead to fundamental problems. Studies show that good oral health can actually prevent certain diseases from occurring. Dentists can see evidence of your overall health as they examine your mouth and gums.
Gum disease and health problems
The AGD, Academy of General Dentistry, believes that there is a link between periodontal disease and health problems such as heart disease and stroke. In fact, women suffering from gum disease seem to have an increased rate of preterm babies with low birth weight.
Other studies suggest that over 90% of all diseases affecting multiple organs or the whole body have oral symptoms, including mouth ulcers, extreme gum problems, dry mouth, and swollen gums.
These dental health symptoms can include symptoms of heart disease, kidney disease, pancreatic cancer, mouth cancer, leukemia, and diabetes. Since most people undergo regular oral examinations, their dentist may be the first to notice and diagnose health problems at an early stage.
Dental health and bacteria
The mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, but most are not harmful. However, too many bacteria can lead to various health problems. Keeping the mouth clean and brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce and control the number of bacteria in the mouth.
If harmful bacteria are not kept under control, your dental health suffers by paving the way for tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist will check during your visit if there are any signs of tooth decay. Excessive bacteria in the mouth can cause mouth problems and get into the bloodstream where further damage can occur.
What you should do
If you visit your dentist regularly, it will help you keep your mouth in good health. It will also allow your dentist to look for developments that can lead to other health complications. A dental examination can also detect poor hygiene and nutrition, misalignment of the jaw, and developmental problems. By providing your dentist with your entire medical history and keeping him informed of all current health developments, even if there seems to be no connection with your oral health, you are helping to keep your general health at bay.