In the years of our youth, we tend to think of brushing, flossing, and cleaning our teeth as a cosmetic ritual of sorts. We may even think of dentist appointments in the same light; mostly to keep back the occasional cavity, maintain the whiteness of our teeth, and prevent bad breath. As it so happens, oral hygiene is more about health than it is about looks. Throughout our lives, we become increasingly susceptible to the dangers of dental decay and oral neglect. In 2014, a study indicated that 2.3% of the adult population, aged 18-44, had lost every single one of their teeth. Among adults aged between 65-74, this rate jumped to 16.4%. Among those 75 or older, the rate was as high as 26.8%.
While the causes of dental loss and decay are myriad, the most egregious cause of all is lacking or avoiding dental care. If you’re living near Bala Cynwyd, PA, our family dentistry wants to help you now, before it’s too late for your teeth and your health. When we waver in maintaining our oral hygiene, the consequences aren’t limited to our mouths, but our entire bodies as a whole. If our teeth or gums are infected by a disease like gingivitis, we are continuously inhaling harmful bacteria. Once they’ve settled in our lungs, bacteria can proliferate and aggravate into deadlier diseases like pneumonia.
Gum diseases can affect not only your lungs but your blood sugar levels as well. With reduced blood circulation, we see a rise in diabetes. As all that bacteria is lingering in our blood and our mouths, it inevitably finds its way to our hearts, too. An accumulation of bacteria near our heart and arteries impedes blood flow and increases our risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, even our brains may be affected by periodontal disease. By traveling through our bloodstreams and nervous systems, bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and feed on our brain cells, bringing on dementia.
Preventing Neglect of Oral Hygiene
As grim as human mortality may seem, we don’t have to despair. Adopting healthy habits of oral hygiene is more than feasible for any of us. By regularly visiting your local family dentistry near Wynnewood, PA, you can learn how to maintain your health and your smile without any worries.