A visit to the dentist is not most people’s idea of the best or most pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Despite the numerous benefits of having a professional keep one’s teeth in check, a large percentage of the population chooses not to sit in a dentist’s chair. Many more fail to maintain an acceptable level of dental hygiene.
Poor dental habits could mean that many people will suffer from dental issues far worse than a few missing teeth.
An Isolated Cure
Although the aesthetics of dentistry are important, dental health is not based entirely on looks. When a quarter of adults admit to not visiting the dentist for years at a time, the UK faces a silent health crisis that affects more than just smiles. Both bleeding gums and blood vessels exposed when teeth are chipped are vulnerable to attack from a variety of microbes throughout the day. Given time, dental health issues often become whole body issues.
Oral infection is one of the worst results of neglected dental health. Dentists from Bow House, a Centre of Dental Excellence, a Hertfordshire practice that provides root canal treatments, stress the importance of keeping teeth and gums in good condition and protected from bacteria. They note that while every meal could contribute to the degradation of the mouth’s natural oral defences, proper hygiene and dental supervision can prevent, or even reverse, further damage.
A Surprising Cause
Around 220,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with pneumonia each year. There are no obvious trends in the incidence of this disease but, while good oral health may not seem related to this deadly pulmonary infection, instances of microbes reaching the lungs from exposed blood vessels in the mouth are well-documented.
In fact, research has found that people with respiratory diseases tend to have worse periodontal health than those with healthy lungs. Brushing one’s teeth twice-daily and visiting the dentist at least twice-yearly does more than just keep your teeth pearly white, it also protects the rest of your body against infection.
Those who neglect their oral health may see tasks such as brushing their teeth or consulting a dentist as dreadful chores, but this simple lifestyle change is surely worthwhile if it means they avoid food-borne infections.