q Chew On This: the Surprising Effects Of Tooth Decay On the Body - Harcourt Health
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Chew On This: the Surprising Effects Of Tooth Decay On the Body

You take a drink of cold water and right away feel a painful twinge in your back tooth. You think, ”I should call the dentist about that.”

You aren’t alone putting off dentist appointments. But, do you know the effects of tooth decay on the body?

Most people don’t. You know gum damage and tooth decay look bad when you smile, but they can also make you seriously ill.

Good oral health is an important part of your well-being and overall health. It not only affects your ability to chew and speak, but it’s also essential for health care.

Read more about bad dental hygiene puts you at risk of other health problems.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Your smile is the first thing people see. So you want to keep it healthy and bright. Preventing tooth decay should be your top priority.

Tooth decay starts when the acids in your mouth dissolve the enamel on your teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, you could have cavities:

  • Sensitive tooth
  • Pain when you eat or drink
  • Dark spots in your mouth
  • Brown spots on your teeth

You should also be aware of gum disease symptoms. These symptoms could be the start of gingivitis caused by bacteria in your mouth:

  • Bleeding, swollen gums
  • Receding gum line
  • Pus between your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Shifting teeth

All of these symptoms are signs of bad oral hygiene, which cause several kinds of health problems.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Prevention is the key to healthy teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to keep a bright, strong smile.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and tongue in the morning, after meals and at bedtime with a soft-bristle toothbrush or use the Dental Pro 7 gum disease natural remedy product.  Using a fluoride toothpaste helps stop cavities from invading your teeth.

Floss your teeth before brushing. When you floss, you remove all the food particles caught between your teeth and inside your gums. If you don’t floss, the trapped particles cause inflammation of your gums.

Eat a balanced diet of healthy foods and avoid any drinks and foods that have sugar.

Try to visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and x-rays.

If you’re prone to tooth decay, gum disease or suffer from dry mouth, visit your dentist more often.

Your dentist can help you manage your oral health, reducing your risks of health complications.

What Happens During Your Dental Visit?

When you go to the dentist for a check-up, you’ll have x-rays to see if you have any cavities or root problems.

Your dentist will check your teeth for plaque, tartar of damage like cracks or loose fillings. Examining your mouth for gum damage is also part of the visit.

When your cleaning starts, the oral hygienist will use special tools to remove the tartar built up on your teeth. This is called scaling. Some hygienists use water spray between your teeth to clean them if you don’t have much tartar.

Next comes the polishing. The hygienist uses a gritty paste to take off any surface stains from things like coffee, tea or tobacco. The paste polishes your teeth to a smooth shine.

Effects of Tooth Decay on the Body

If you suffer from tooth decay, you might ask yourself, ”Can bad teeth cause health problems?”

The answer is ”yes.”

The following information explains the types of health problems related to tooth decay and gum disease:

Heart Disease

This might surprise you, but people with poor oral hygiene like gum disease and lost teeth have higher rates of heart attacks and strokes.

Bad oral health causes heart disease because bacteria from swollen gums in your mouth travels into your blood vessels. Your blood carries the bacteria all over your body, damaging your blood vessels and forming blood clots. This results in cardiovascular disease.

Another reason is the inflammation in your mouth affects your immune system. This causes blood vessel damage in your brain and heart.

Diabetes

Although poor oral health doesn’t cause diabetes, diabetes causes poor oral health.  This can lead to other health complications like infections, heart disease, gum inflammation and tooth loss.

If you’re diabetic, you know this disease makes it easier to get an infection. This is why you should pay close attention to your gums and teeth. When your blood sugar isn’t controlled, it causes bacteria in your mouth, which leads to gum disease.

You can prevent gum disease and other health issues by keeping your blood sugar under control and brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes swelling and pain in your joints. When you suffer from this long-term disease, it usually affects your feet, wrists and hands.

Usually, your immune system fights infections, but this disease makes your immune system attack your joints by mistake.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, people who lose teeth have a higher risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis. The reason is that the bacteria in your mouth from periodontal disease triggers rheumatoid arthritis. Mouth bacteria feeds the inflammation in your joints.

By practicing good oral hygiene, you can prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have RA, oral health care can ease your symptoms.

Pregnancy Problems

When you have mouth bacteria from gum disease, it can travel through your blood to your unborn baby. If this happens, you could go into labor early.

Your newborn could be underweight or have an infection from premature delivery and bacteria from your gum disease.

Improving your dental hygiene is the best way to prevent pregnancy complications related to gum disease.

Focus on Oral Health

Focus on keeping up with an oral health regimen that includes regular brushing, flossing and visits to your dentist. This will help you prevent the effects of tooth decay on the body. You’ll also keep your bright smile and boost your healthy lifestyle.

Browse the rest of our website for other health-related articles from diseases to healthy living.