NYC Endodontics would like to inform our valued patients about the ways that good oral health is linked to good overall health. As more and more convincing scientific evidence is brought forth through careful scientific study, the importance of having healthy teeth, mouth, and gums in promoting a long, healthy life is becoming clear.
It’s not just an aesthetic thing. Your teeth are vital components of your body. Consequences of not taking care of your teeth and gums can include serious disease in addition to many other serious mental health and physical health problems.
Oral Health and Mental Health
Good oral health can help preserve your mind. The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry reported findings in a study in which adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) consistently performed worse than those who do not suffer from gingivitis when it came to tests of memory and cognitive functionality. Those who suffer from gingivitis were found to be less efficient when it came to verbal recall and subtraction — both necessary skills in everyday life.
Research has shown association between periodontitis (gum disease) and autoimmune disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), resulting in inflammation and pain in the joints. Leading experts recognize the similarities in mechanisms that destroy connective tissue both in gum disease and RA. Thus, eating a balanced diet and seeing your dentist as well as your endodontist regularly will help significantly reduce your risk for gum disease. Practicing good dental habits now will help reduce and minimize more serious and costly damage down the road.
Oral Health and Diabetes
People with unchecked diabetes (uncontrolled, perhaps even unidentified diabetes) will often suffer from gum disease as well. Those who suffer from diabetes might be more susceptible to infection, especially of the gums, which can lead to periodontitis. Protecting your oral health can play a role in controlling blood sugar if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Practicing good eating habits and incorporating a healthy, balanced diet will pay off when it comes to oral and overall health.
Bacteria can travel from your mouth to other organs of your body, it’s simple science. Good oral health can significantly reduce bacteria in your mouth, which has been shown to lower your risk of infection, but also heart disease. The same chronic inflammation that promotes arthritis in the joints have been associated with cardiovascular disorders, including but not limited to heart disease (blockages of the blood vessels which lead to strokes). That’s pretty scary when you think about it. People seem to shrug off the importance of taking care of their teeth, maybe because they tell themselves they’ll deal with it later in the dentist’s office. But these bad habits can lead to problems that NYC Endodontics cannot solve.
Good oral health can also have a great effect on your attitude, your mental health, and your self esteem. Confidence, self-image, and self-esteem all have an effect on the way we think and interact with others in our lives. Healthy, beautiful teeth will in turn promote a happier, healthier life for you, helping you eat properly, concentrate better without aching teeth or gums, and even help you sleep better.
So, to put it simply, taking care of your teeth will also work towards taking care of yourself, your mind, and your body. More and more science is supporting the link between good oral health and good overall health. We’ll always work conservatively and save as much of your original tooth structure as possible. Together, NYC Endodontics will work with you to provide the safest and most effective endodontic treatments possible.