As the saying goes, health is wealth. While many acknowledge this fact and try to look after themselves, they sometimes fail to understand that oral health is a crucial aspect for overall wellness. You can enjoy life to the fullest only when you are in tip-top shape and with a sound mind and body.

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Fortunately, looking after your healthcare needs isn’t hard anymore. The healthcare sector today has reached tremendous heights, and many countries across the globe have benefitted from the advancements following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In San Marcos, if you are one to care for your health, there is no shortage of services. There are 85 physicians per 100,000 people in San Marcos, and although this does not compare with developed regions like the US, it is worth noting. 

Did you know that many diseases, including respiratory problems, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, are linked strongly to gum disease? Research shows a strong connection between oral hygiene and overall well-being. 

Sadly, oral health is often neglected when people try to improve themselves or start taking health and fitness seriously. 

If that isn’t convincing enough, the following are some important reasons why oral health is crucial for overall wellness. 

Why is good oral hygiene important?

1.  Early detection is the only way to avoid oral complications

You must schedule regular dental exams for your kids. These checkups are essential for kids as well as adults. 

If you’re a woman and comfortable visiting a female orthodontist, we suggest booking an appointment with the best Female Orthodontist in San Marcos, CA

Routine check-ups can help detect and begin timely treatment for severe ailments like oral cancer. Professionals recommend visiting the dentist at least twice yearly to check your mouth for any early warning signs of oral conditions.

2.  Bad oral health can even put you at risk for heart disease and stroke!

The mouth is the breeding ground for bacteria and serves as an opening to the rest of your body. It exposes your digestive tract and respiratory system. While the natural bacteria in your mouth are harmless, food particles left to stay on your teeth can create complications.

Of the bacteria that grow on the teeth, some are a severe threat to your heart and lungs. Bacterial endocarditis is a potentially fatal heart disease that results from plaque. Similarly, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is another risk for people with untreated plaque. 

In fact, research has proven that gum disease sufferers are twice as likely as healthy individuals to develop heart disease. Another study revealed a strong association between the risk of stroke and missing teeth. 

There is also a strong link between clogged arteries and coronary artery disease with poor oral health. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that in San Marcos, nearly 9.2% of the population under 65 does not have health insurance. 

Periodic dental check-ups, or none, can put you at risk for oral conditions and heart-related problems.

3.  Alzheimer’s disease is linked with bad oral hygiene

Alzheimer’s is a progressive type of dementia characterized by cognitive impairment and mild memory loss that can escalate to a complete lack of ability to talk. Research has shown that the bacteria that is a leading cause of gum disease is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum, which grows in the mouth of a person suffering from gum disease, also aggravates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by worsening inflammation. 

Treating gum disease is known to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. In short, bad oral hygiene can set the stage for Alzheimer’s disease.

4.  Poor oral health complicates pregnancy and childbirth 

When pregnant, you must be ten times more careful with your hygiene. Pathogens, including bacteria and viruses entering your bloodstream, can threaten the fetus’ health. 

Since almost all dental problems are bacterial infections, lack of oral care during pregnancy can cause serious complications; these include gestational diabetes, miscarriages, preeclampsia, stillbirth, fetal growth restriction, and low birth weight.

Research has shown that pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely than healthy women to have premature babies. Babies born underweight are also at risk of developing breathing problems, mental retardation, congestive heart failure, cerebral palsy, anemia, and more.

Unfortunately, the risk of swollen and bleeding gums is higher than usual during the later stages of pregnancy. It becomes critical to consider your oral hygiene and make routine dental checks a habit.

5.  Periodontal pathogenic bacteria can infect the lungs

If you have cavities, there are chances that bacteria, fungi, or viruses that plague your mouth can infect your lungs and cause pneumonia. Since the mouth is a gateway to your internal organs, bacteria in your mouth can aspirate to your lungs and set the stage for pneumonia.

Recent evidence also suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 are also directly linked with periodontitis. Cavities can harbor pathogens that can then infect the internal organs via the respiratory, digestive, and hematologic routes. SARS CoV-2 can replicate in the periodontal pockets and aspirate to the lungs. 

6.  Poor oral hygiene affects your quality of life

Lastly, bad oral health can, as a whole, can affect your quality of life. An unappealing smile, for instance, is a terrible damper on your self-confidence. Bad breath can affect your social relationships. Dental caries can make chewing harder, lower your appetite, cause sleep disturbances, hinder school performance, and lower your efficiency.

This link between oral hygiene and quality of life has been studied so much that today there is a thing called ‘oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL)’! Research has shown that quality of life factors, including your subjective well-being, satisfaction with care, emotional well-being, and sense of self, are all strongly linked with your oral health. 

Final words

It cannot be stressed enough that your oral hygiene needs as much attention – if not more – as the physical health of the rest of your body. 

There is vast literature supporting oral hygiene’s link with your overall well-being. If not for good oral care, minor problems can escalate, the risk for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, childbirth complications, and lung infection increases, and your quality of life is affected.