Brush properly at least twice a day!
Floss well to clean the corners between your teeth thoroughly!
Use a mouthwash!
You’re probably well aware of the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene and getting professional teeth cleaning regularly. And, yes! You do want to make sure that your teeth look good and avoid that dreaded bad breath. After all, a wonderful smile can add to your looks and confidence.
What you probably aren’t aware of is that not taking care of your mouth with the proper brushing and flossing that lead to a host of other health problems. In fact, should you check out this feature published by the Mayo Clinic, you’ll learn how poor oral health is both the cause and effect of illnesses in the body.
A Saliva Test Can Reveal a Lot about Your Health
While a simple blood test is a powerful diagnostic tool, you’ll be surprised at the health issues a saliva test can reveal. When you stop by at the best dental clinic in Calgary, Dr. Jennifer Silver may choose to conduct this test just before your professional teeth cleaning. Here’s what your saliva can tell you:
- Bone-specific proteins can indicate the early possibility of osteoporosis in both men and women
- Presence of illegal drugs in the bloodstream
- Hormone imbalances
- Antibodies that the body produces in case of hepatitis or HIV infections
- Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver damage
- Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that has dryness in the mouth as one of the main symptoms.
It will interest you to know that your saliva is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria and viruses entering through the mouth. The antibodies present in saliva can fight off these pathogens and also fungal infections like Candida albicans thanks to the histatin proteins that it carries. Keep in mind that if the Candida is not treated in time, you could develop a condition called oral thrush that manifests as a white or cream-colored coating on the tongue.
However, your saliva cannot always protect you from all diseases. Certain medications you may take and diseases can weaken the flow of saliva and its effectiveness as a defense agent. And without getting professional teeth cleaning and dental checkups from time to time, you become vulnerable to oral and other related diseases.
Diseases You Prevent with Professional Teeth Cleaning
Your mouth is home to close to 500 species of bacteria that constantly create a sticky coating on your teeth. This coating is called dental plaque and regular brushing and flossing can remove it. However, this plaque can build up in the area between your gums and teeth, and harden into calculus and tartar. The hardened tartar can result in the additional bacteria infecting this area. Like this article on the American Academy of Periodontology explains, without professional cleaning to remove this layer, you could develop diseases like:
- Gingivitis that results from the gums swelling up in response to the acids released by the bacteria, you may notice symptoms like redness, irritation, pain, and bleeding
- Periodontitis that is a more advanced form of gingivitis and affects the soft tissues and bone that holds the tooth in place, over time, you could experience loss of the tooth
- Trench mouth that is a rapid progression of gingivitis. In addition to swelling and bleeding, patients notice ulcers, fever, fatigue, bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth
Related Diseases You Prevent with Regular Cleaning
Over time, the harmful bacteria that cause dental diseases can enter your bloodstream and travel to other organs. As a result, you could develop other related diseases that can easily be avoided with regular checkups and professional teeth cleaning.
Here are some of the diseases you should be concerned about:
- Endocarditis – This is an infectious condition that affects the walls of the chambers of the heart and its chambers and vessels. If left unchecked, patients can develop heart problems that are characterized by fever, fatigue, chest pain, aching joints, nocturnal sweating, and swelling in the legs, feet, and/or abdomen.
- Heart disease – The oral bacteria traveling to the arteries can cause infections that result in their inflammation. This swelling can, in turn, cause patients to develop blood clots, clogging, and plaque in the blood vessels raising the risk of getting strokes.
- Diabetes – Infections in the body because of oral germs can lower resistance to insulin. While diabetes raises your risks of developing gum disease, having gingivitis can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels. As a result, patients develop a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
While not exactly a disease, women with poor oral health are known to deliver preterm babies that have a low birth weight. Like researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information explain, dental bacteria may release certain toxins that travel to the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream. Here they prevent the proper development and growth of the baby. The bacteria may also trigger the release of hormones and other substances that initiate premature labor and birth of the baby while it is still weak.
Follow Your Dentist’s Recommendations Carefully
While your dentist can help you prevent these diseases with professional teeth cleaning, you can also take the necessary precautions for good dental and overall health and wellness. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you and come in for regular checkups so your doctor can identify potential problems before they become too big. Also, make sure to inform her of the medications you’re taking that might affect your oral health.
In addition to proper brushing and flossing, you can adopt some habits to protect you and your family from diseases. Here are some of them:
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Restrict eating between meals especially sugary snacks and beverages and carbs
- Restrict excessive smoking or using tobacco in any form
- Get in touch with your dentist as soon as you sense a problem
Taking these simple precautions can help you and your family remain healthy for life.