Contrary to popular belief, having healthy teeth and gums is more than just about aesthetics or one’s appearance. It’s not just about having a radiant smile or looking good enough to model for a toothpaste brand or a dental clinic. Having healthy teeth and gums provides so many advantages to our overall health and well-being.
Unfortunately, dental health is not always the first thing we think about when it comes to caring for ourselves. A study by the University of Utah found that 91 percent of Americans have had cavities, while 27 percent had experiences with untreated tooth decay.
Dental health is not the most talked-about area of our well-being, but it needs to be at the top of our priority list. Here are some benefits of having healthy teeth.
It prevents tooth loss
When we brush our teeth properly at least twice a day, go to the dentist at least twice a year, and maintain a healthy, low-sugar diet, we reduce our risks for gum disease and dental decay—problems that can result in the loss of our teeth.
A study found that the number of teeth we have once we reach the age of 70 can determine how long we live, so having as many teeth as we can in our twilight years can greatly increase our chances of living a longer and healthier life. It’s never too late to protect our teeth from decay.
When people think of the benefits of having a normal bite or a straight bite, they only often think about its cosmetic benefits. While we cannot discount how a perfect bite can help increase our confidence, there are also plenty of other more substantial advantages to having a normal bite. Here are the reasons why investing in a straight bite is good for our health:
- No issues or problems with biting and chewing
- Less risk for speech difficulties, such as a lisp
- Can help address difficulty breathing
- Corrects any abnormality in the jaw or the facial in general
- Decreased chances for teeth grinding
- Teeth are easier to clean and brush properly which can then decrease the chances of gum diseases such as gingivitis and tooth decay
- Little to no strain on the facial muscles and jaws, which can then ease joint disorders
No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to correct your bite. If you are embarrassed about the idea of adult braces, opt for more fun and stylish ones such as gold braces brackets. They can make the treatment appear more elegant, and they are generally less obtrusive and more subtle than traditional braces.
We lower our risk for more serious diseases
Some dental problems can potentially cause more serious health complications down the road. Gum disease, for example, can cause bacteria to travel from our mouths to our bloodstream. These bacteria can then produce a kind of protein that can thicken our blood, which can then make us more prone to blood clots and can deprive our heart of the oxygen and nutrients it needs. This whole process can then potentially cause a heart attack. When we lower our risk for gum disease, we also significantly decrease our chances of suffering from a heart attack.
Having healthy teeth can also keep other diseases like cancer and dementia at bay. New research found that post-menopausal women were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer if they have had a history of gum disease. One in three women developed cancer, while the other types of cancer that they were at risk of included gall, lung, and skin cancer. Another huge study made a connection between gum disease and dementia.
Pregnancy can also take a toll on women’s dental health, which is why there is a clarion call for expecting moms to take their dental care as seriously as possible. Moreover, pregnant women suffering from gum disease are at high risk of premature birth and low birth weight, so if their teeth and gums are healthy before they get pregnant, that bodes well for both mommy and baby in the long run.
If you’re just getting started on your dental health journey, don’t be discouraged or too quick to give up! We cannot undo in a few days or weeks the habits we built up in years or even decades, so don’t worry too much if your progress is too slow. The important thing is that you start today. So invest in your teeth and believe in your ability to turn things around with the help of your dental health professional.