While most people are aware of the importance of a daily oral care regiment, many still don’t realize the importance of a healthy mouth in regards to physical and mental well-being. This article will help to explain how proper oral health can lead to a happier, more productive life.
Oral Health Basics
We’re all familiar with the most common symptoms of a poorly taken care of mouth – yellow teeth, cavities, plaque & tarter, and of course, cavities. These are conditions we’d all like to avoid. Some of their negative effects are well known. In fact, there still exists a misconception that these are purely cosmetic issues.
While unhealthy teeth are unpleasant to look at, the problem is often much more serious. According to PharmaD Candidate Natalie Espeson, nearly half of adults over the age of thirty show signs of periodontal disease, which can lead to serious mental and physical side effects2.
The Mental Tolls of an Unhealthy Mouth
Poor dental hygiene can be extremely detrimental to one’s self esteem. This is not a rare problem. According to a recent study, over one third of middle age adults are embarrassed by their teeth1.
People in this state often feel the need to hide their smile, or refrain from intimacy to conceal poor appearance or unpleasant breath. It is also worth noting that these conditions can lead to invasive dental procedures, which of course, most of us would prefer to avoid.
Potentially Serious Conditions
Consequences are not contained to just the mouth, teeth, and gums. In severe cases of periodontal disease, the cardiovascular system can become affected2. In the most serious circumstances, this can lead to potentially life threatening issues such as heart attack and stroke. As is often the case, these issues are easier to prevent than cure, so dental professionals should emphasize them when discussing their patient’s oral care regimen.
The Keys To Preventing Dental Troubles
Dental patients should be made aware that their current regiment is likely not sufficient to prevent future issues. In addition to brushing and flossing multiple times a day, patients should be encouraged to be mindful of sugary and acidic foods. Additionally, habits such as smoking, chewing sugary gum, and drinking excessive amounts of coffee should be discouraged. Oral health is not something to be taken lightly, and patients who understand its importance are much more likely to embrace a successful regimen.
1: One in three middle-aged Americans embarrassed by their teeth. Dentistry Today. (2021, September 30). Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.dentistrytoday.com/one-in-three-middle-aged-americans-embarrassed-by-their-teeth/
2: Espeso, N. (2022, February 17). Maintaining oral health is essential to well-being. Pharmacy Times. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/maintaining-oral-health-is-essential-to-well-being
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