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A woman with good oral health enjoying nature in Parker, CO

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Wellness

You know that preventative care is important for your oral health. You understand that brushing, flossing, eating a nutritious diet, and seeing your dentist regularly can prevent oral health issues like tooth decay and periodontal disease. What you may not know, though, is that taking care of your mouth can have a positive impact on the rest of your body. Numerous studies have shown that there is a definitive link between oral health and ailments like diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. It works both ways: caring for your mouth benefits your body, and taking care of your body benefits your oral health.

What Is the Connection?

If your dental health is poor, the bacteria in your mouth can travel through your blood into other parts of your body. This means that, in addition to tooth decay and gum disease, you can develop other systemic diseases. There is a substantial link between periodontal disease, and untreated gum disease can increase the risk of conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stress is a Factor in Oral Health and Overall Wellness

Stress seems unavoidable, but it is important to manage it for your health. It’s been shown that stress management can strengthen your immune system, and now researchers are finding that too much stress can cause oral health problems. This is partially due to the lowered immunity, but the stress effects go further than that. When people are stressed, they tend to clench and grind their teeth, and teeth grinding can cause a great deal of damage, wearing down the enamel and causing TMJ syndrome, which leads to pain in the jaw and face. Even if you don’t realize you’re doing it, stress can cause you to grind your teeth at night. Too much stress can also cause canker sores or mouth ulcers, which can make it hard to eat and speak. These sores tend to go away on their own, but better stress management can help prevent them.

Caring for Your Mouth and Body

Recognizing how important your dental health is to your overall wellness, there are steps you should take to keep your whole body healthy.

  • Practice good oral hygiene, brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, limiting sugar and between-meal snacking.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any other form, to reduce your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress, like mindfulness, meditation, and exercise.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, so that any issues you may have can be detected early.

Trust Signature Smiles Dentistry to Protect Your Dental Wellness

At Signature Smiles Dentistry, we treat our patients like family. Our happy team creates a safe and welcoming environment, where patients can relax in a place of comfort, care, and professionalism. Because we understand the fear that can come with a dental visit, we dedicate ourselves to learning about each of our patients and working to alleviate that fear. Providing general, cosmetic, and restorative services in Parker, CO, we use the latest equipment to give our patients the very best service and care. Our team is knowledgeable and passionate about their work, and, under the direction of Dr. Gunning, a dedicated cosmetic dentist, we provide patients with comprehensive care unique to their situation. For more information about how we can help you find your signature smile, call us at 720-465-7796 or contact us through our website.