How Oral Health Affects General Health & Wellbeing

How Oral Health Affects General Health & Wellbeing

How does oral health affect your general health and wellbeing?

This month marks National Smile Month, a charitable campaign from the Oral Health Foundation to help promote the benefits of good oral health habits.

But what do we mean by oral health? How do we maintain good oral health habits?

Just how important is it to our overall health and wellbeing?

What is oral health?

Simply put, oral health is the condition of your mouth (including teeth & gums) and facial structures that help you to eat, breathe and speak.

Factors that affect your oral health include the presence of dental diseases (and related pain), your capacity to speak, smile, chew and swallow, and your ability to speak, smile and interact in social situations.

Overall health & wellbeing

Oral health is linked to the overall health of your body. Not only can the inside of your mouth give a good indication of your general health, but gum disease can lead to further health concerns such as heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.

In pregnant women, regular oral health checks are vitally important as changes in hormones can lead to swollen and irritated gums which can cause gum disease and tooth decay.

Psychologically, poor oral health can cause bad breath (halitosis) which can have a significant impact on our self-confidence and mental wellbeing.
Therefore, by prioritising our oral health, we are inadvertently helping to maintain our overall health and quality of life!

Oral health and children

Maintaining good oral hygiene is a lifelong commitment, so introducing good oral hygiene habits into a child’s routine as early as possible will only have a positive effect on their overall health in the future.

Taking children with you to the dentist from an early age will help to familiarise them with the sights and smells of a dental practice and prevent any fears about visiting again in the future.

In addition, educating children about eating a healthy, balanced diet and limiting their sugar intake will help to prevent any dental problems developing.

Maintaining good oral health

The good news is that although there are many genetic and biological factors that can determine your oral health, most dental diseases such as gum disease and tooth decay are completely preventable!

It is incredibly important to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly to receive bespoke oral hygiene advice and monitor your oral health, especially as problems such as gum disease can go unnoticed in its initial stages. Together, regular dental visits and maintaining good oral health habits should prevent further costly treatments and other potential long-term health issues.

Here are our top tips for maintaining your oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. This removes any plaque that would lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Use interdental brushes BEFORE brushing your teeth to loosen any food and bacteria that has built up throughout the day.
  • DON’T rinse your mouth out after brushing because it will remove the fluoride from the toothpaste that will help prevent tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly every 6 months.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

If you would like an oral health check from one of our dentists or hygienists, please contact the practice on 01205 352892 or fill out our contact form here.

Together we can make sure you maintain a healthy mouth for life!

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We are more than happy to provide an opinion on your smile and offer you advice on what to look for.

Please feel free to give us a call
on 01205 352892 where one of our team will be happy to chat with you.