Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish
Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Well-being: Start with Teeth Cleaning

A woman looking at her teeth in the mirror after a teeth cleaning at a dental office.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget about your routine teeth cleaning appointment. However, your mouth is the gateway to your body. Prioritizing your teeth and gums is crucial for oral health and overall well-being.

One simple yet effective way to keep yourself on track is by routinely visiting your dentist for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. Yes, these appointments help keep your teeth shiny and white, but they also help you maintain your overall health.

What Is Teeth Cleaning?

A teeth cleaning is a service provided by a dental professional, typically a dental hygienist. During a cleaning appointment, your hygienist uses special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth.

Brushing and flossing at home helps reduce plaque, but tartar is a hard substance that cannot be removed with floss and a toothbrush. When left on the teeth, it can cause cavities or gum disease to develop. Eventually, it could lead to tooth loss or other severe health conditions.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice and flossing once daily. Include routine visits with your dentist to clean your teeth, and your mouth will be in good shape! You’ll lower your risk of future dental issues and health problems.

The Link Between a Teeth Cleaning and Your Health

The benefits of an appointment with your local hygienist extend far beyond keeping your smile dazzling. In fact, these services play a crucial role in preventing gum disease, which is linked to many health conditions that impact your whole body.

Lowers the Rate of Respiratory Infections

It’s true — dental cleanings reduce your risk of a respiratory infection. Poor oral hygiene habits increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can make its way to your lungs, causing diseases like pneumonia. A professional cleaning every six months helps keep these bacteria in check and maintains your respiratory health.

Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Patients with progressive gum disease are at a higher risk for heart disease than patients with healthy gums. The risk increases because more bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream and attach to the blood vessels.

Removing plaque and tartar during a teeth cleaning appointment reduces bacteria and helps prevent gum disease. Regular cleanings decrease your risk for heart disease and keep your smile healthy and bright throughout your life.

Minimizes the Risk of Diabetes Complications

Patients with gum disease are more likely to develop diabetes. But for those already managing diabetes, the chances of developing gum disease are higher. This is because of the increased risk of mouth infections. By maintaining your oral health with dental cleanings, your chances of developing gum disease shrink, preventing potential complications related to this disease.

Prevents Dementia From Developing

When gum disease-causing bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can be transported to the brain. Recent studies suggest this could lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, nothing indicates oral bacteria are solely responsible for this condition. It’s just one of the risk factors for anyone prone to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Supports Healthy Pregnancy

Women are more susceptible to mouth infections, like gum disease, during pregnancy. This factor makes it essential for them to establish an excellent oral hygiene routine at home and keep up with routine dental visits. Not only is a mouth infection risky for mothers-to-be, but it also puts babies at risk. For example, pregnant patients with gum disease are more likely to go into labor early or have a baby with a low birth weight.

Decreases the Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes joint stiffness, weakness, and painful or swollen joints. Research has shown a connection between gum disease and this painful condition. Some bacteria found in the oral cavity that cause gum disease infiltrate the bloodstream and can cause RA.

Lowers the Risk of Developing Kidney Disease

When your kidneys cannot properly filter your blood, waste builds up, causing kidney disease. Eventually, this can cause other problems, like stroke and heart disease. Like many different health conditions, there is a link between oral inflammation and issues with kidney function.

A Healthy Mouth Is the Gateway to a Healthy Body

Visiting your dentist regularly for dental cleanings is essential to keeping your smile and body healthy. Skipping these appointments can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and other lifelong health conditions.

Don’t wait any longer to reap the benefits of professional teeth cleaning. Contact Dr. Brett Langston, DMD, to book an appointment and stay on top of your health!