August 20, 2018
Visiting the dentist every six months for a routine dental exam and cleaning is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth. However, according to the Commonwealth Fund, more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults skipped a routine dental visit in 2016. If you are one of the millions of Americans that have put off seeing the dentist, you should know that you are putting more than your dental health in jeopardy. An unhealthy mouth can increase the risk of serious health problems – including a heart attack! Below, a dentist in Chesapeake lays out the connection between oral health and overall health.
What Conditions Are Linked to Oral Health?
If you do not practice good oral hygiene at home and make regular trips to the dentist, harmful plaque and tartar can accumulate in your mouth and cause tooth decay and gum disease. However, oral health issues affect more than just the mouth. Here are a few ways that dental health issues can affect your whole body:
- Endocarditis – An infection of the inner lining of the heart, endocarditis can occur when bacteria or other germs from the mouth spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas of a person’s heart.
- Heart disease and stroke – In addition to Endocarditis, the inflammation caused by oral bacteria has also been linked to other cardiovascular issues like clogged arteries and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
- Pregnancy and birth – Research has shown a link between gum disease and premature birth and low birth weight.
In addition, the link between oral and overall health works in both directions: certain general health conditions – like diabetes, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s diseases – can also adversely affect your oral health. So, if you want to maintain a healthy mouth and body, be sure to visit the dentist every six months.
Why Regular Checkups are Important
The American Dental Association recommends having a dental checkup every six months. Here are a few reasons why visiting a trusted dentist regularly is so important:
- Professional teeth cleaning – During a dental checkup, your dentist or dental hygienist will expertly remove any harmful buildup before it can damage your teeth and gums, leaving your mouth clean and refreshed and preventing future oral health problems.
- Preventive care – Typical dental cleanings may also include preventive treatments – like fluoride application, stain removal, and polishing teeth, crowns and fillings – that can help defend your teeth from decay and other dental problems.
- Identify problems early – Identifying oral health problems early on is critical to successfully treating them. During a routine dental exam, a dentist will look for any signs of trouble – such as cavities, gum disease, damaged fillings and even early signs of oral cancer.
Whether you have been avoiding the dentist because of anxiety, the inconvenience or the cost, understanding the health risks of skipping regular dental checkups should motivate you to search online for a “dentist near me” today.
About the Practice
Dr. Craig Estrada and Dr. Charito Mangaya-Estrada, the dynamic husband and wife team behind Estrada Dentistry, have been dedicated to providing quality dental care for entire families in Chesapeake for over 25 years. They understand that oral health is linked to overall health, which is why they offer preventive dentistry services like dental sealants and fluoride treatments. If you want to contact Estrada Dentistry, visit their website online or call the office at 757-548-1611.
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