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7 Reasons to Focus on Your Oral Health in 2024

By January 19, 2024Blog

It’s a new year! And with that comes the perfect time for a renewed focus on your oral health. But why is great oral health so important? What benefits come from having A+ oral health, you ask? Well, here, Dr. Khanna and the team at Brooklyn’s Fresh Orthodontics offer seven compelling reasons to pay more attention to your oral health this year.

1. Oral Health Can Reflect Your Overall Health

Consider your mouth like a crystal ball that reveals your body’s health — there’s a definite oral health-overall health connection. For example, your oral health can show signs of nutritional deficiencies: a sore or inflamed tongue can be a sign of vitamin B deficiency; pits, grooves, or missing areas of enamel in your child’s developing teeth can signify a vitamin A deficiency; or a red, painful, and burning tongue, can alert you to a lack of iron.

And how are oral health and systemic health linked? Diseases affecting the entire body can become apparent because of mouth lesions, oral inflammation, or other oral problems.

2. The Heart Health Connection

Did you know that gum disease is linked to heart problems? Research has shown that bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream and bring about inflammation in the heart vessels and infection in the heart valves, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. So, what can you do for your heart health? Floss, floss, floss! Diligent oral hygiene might do more than just protect your teeth — it could safeguard your heart, too.

3. Oral Health and Brain Health

Here’s something mind-blowing – taking care of your mouth might benefit your brain. A recent study showed that participants who had poor oral health also had MRI brain imaging showing the brain degeneration that can lead to dementia. So, what is the relationship between oral health and brain health? Simply put, bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or the bloodstream, potentially leading to the development of Alzheimer’s.

4. Reduced Risk of Infection and Inflammation

Speaking of bacteria, a poor oral hygiene routine can lead to too much oral bacteria, tooth decay, and gum disease. Chronic inflammation from gum disease is linked to systemic health problems such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers. One report discusses the link between oral inflammation and inflammation in the body, especially in people predisposed to illnesses because of genetics, habits, or medications.

5. Pregnancy Implications

The connection between oral health and systemic health is also crucial for pregnant women. The CDC explains that periodontal disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. It’s vital for expecting moms to level up their oral hygiene for their overall health and set their babies up for the best birth outcomes..

6. Digestion Starts in the Mouth

Digestion begins with well-chewed food, and it goes without saying that efficient chewing relies heavily on healthy, functional teeth. Poor oral health can result in gum disease or tooth decay, making chewing painful or difficult. Improperly chewed food can affect digestion and nutrient absorption, leading to digestive issues like bloating, gas, and low energy.

7. A Straight Smile Has Social Benefits

It’s undeniable that an attractive smile is social currency. A study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics revealed that those with ideal smiles were perceived as more intelligent and more likely to land a job. In another study, people with straight teeth were rated by subjects as more successful, wealthier, happier, healthier, smarter and more likely to get a date.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

So, how can you improve your oral health while positively impacting your systemic health? First, it can be harder to keep plaque and gum disease at bay if you have misaligned teeth because of all the extra nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. The solution? There are great benefits to orthodontic treatment — braces and Invisalign® clear aligners straighten teeth and make cleaning your teeth easier and more efficient.

Smile Your Way To Better Oral and Overall Health With Your Brooklyn Orthodontist

The bottom line, looking after your oral health is key to your overall health. Support your oral health-overall health connection by focusing on your teeth and gums this year. A great start? Tapping into the benefits of orthodontic treatment! Make an appointment to visit Dr. Khanna at our Park Slope orthodontic office today.