When you think of visiting the dentist, the most common thoughts that run through your head are often about tooth decay causing inordinate amounts of pain and perhaps a cleaning or whitening procedure that will give you that big, beautiful smile. However, there’s more to oral heath than an amazing smile, although that is important, because dental problems have been linked to a number of illnesses, some of which are extremely serious.
These are not diseases that cause tooth decay, but tooth decay that can be the ultimate cause of these conditions. That’s probably a new one you’d never heard. Yes, tooth decay can lead to major illnesses and this is what every dentist wants you to know about oral health.
What Most People Haven’t Been Told about Tooth Decay
Although most people know that an infected tooth can tax your heart and lead to cardiovascular disease, many people aren’t aware that research has proven that sometimes oral infections can lead to such things as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and can cause major complications during pregnancy. Dentists like Dr Charmaine Johnson in South Florida want their patients to know that taking care of their oral health is vitally important to general health as well.
Regular checkups are imperative if you are to avoid complications arising from infections in your mouth which aren’t limited to tooth decay. Infections of the gums can also lead to serious illnesses and that’s why your dentist wants you to be seen at least once a year, even if you aren’t experiencing any major pain.
Depression Linked to Tooth Decay?
A good amount of recent research has found a link between depression and tooth decay. This is one that is still unclear as to which issue is the cause of the other. For example, cardiovascular disease does not lead to tooth decay but tooth decay can lead to cardiovascular disease. That has been substantiated. However, in the case of depression, while there is a link between poor oral health and depression, researchers aren’t yet sure whether some biological process set off by oral infections causes problems in the brain or if the brain, as the power house of the body, leads to poor oral health.
Even so, there is a link so if you seem to be depressed for no apparent reason, you just might want to pay a visit to your dentist. Yes, it sounds a bit strange, but there may be something going on in that mouth of yours that needs to be checked out. If nothing else, a professional cleaning and/or whitening procedure can give you a brighter smile. What is better for lifting your mood than a nice, big, genuine smile?
One bit of research coming out of the Dental Health Services in Victoria, Australia states emphatically that general health and oral health are definitely linked and that’s why they put out advisories to visit dentists regularly. Their studies indicate that general health can suffer due to poor oral health and vice versa which is what dentists throughout the United States want their patients to know as well. Whether you are experiencing problems or not, a visit to your dentist can’t hurt and the problems you can prevent are countless by keeping that smile white, bright and free of decay.