When many people think about focusing on their overall health and wellness, they list diet, exercise, and self-care as the top factors to improve. But more and more studies are showing the impactful link between teeth health and general well-being, too!
Yes, taking care of your teeth isn’t just about avoiding cavities and gum disease. The health of your future self depends on your current dental routine today.
How is that possible? We’ll explain the surprising results of decades of dental health studies on overall wellness here.
1. Oral Health Indicates Overall Health
Physicians use certain factors to determine a person’s overall health and attempt to predict the risk of developing dangerous medical conditions. Some of these factors are common sense, such as diet, nutrition, exercise, and genetics. But your oral health is one of the top ten things your doctor will consider when gauging your physical and mental wellness.
When your teeth and gums are functioning normally, you can eat, speak, and smile like you’re supposed to. Communication and diet are crucial to overall wellness. Tooth decay and poor oral hygiene frequently lead to painful health conditions, lower self-esteem, and, in severe cases, an inability to get and keep a productive job.
If you have access to oral healthcare, running water, and a disposable income, this sounds like an easy fix. However, even in today’s advanced society, there are millions of people worldwide who still don’t have these basic environmental factors. Their habitats impact their choices, and uncontrollable childhoods often lead to poor oral hygiene as adults, which affects the individual’s overall health and well-being.
2. Your Dental Routine Could Help You Avoid Alzheimer’s
Recently, studies on the connection between gum disease and tooth decay and chronic diseases have shed light on an undeniable link. Now, experts say that keeping your oral health in shape may help you avoid dangerous conditions like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
The studies explain how 95% of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have amyloid or senile plaque buildup in their brains. This happens when too much plaque, as happens with periodontitis, crosses the brain-body barrier, resulting in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.
Periodontitis can also impact the liver and heart, changing metabolism and leading to diabetes and heart disease. When you keep your teeth and gums healthy, you could reduce your risk factor of developing these painful conditions.
3. Your Oral Health Could Change Your Descendents’
We understand that our genetics are passed down from our ancestors. Flip that fact around, and you’ll realize that you are the ancestor to your future descendants. Your overall health, including your dental health, will impact the DNA of your children, grandchildren, and beyond.
Maybe bad oral health has always run in your family. The good news is that you can be the one to begin breaking the cycle.
Using Your Knowledge to Change Your Family’s Oral Health DNA
It will take generations of change before the DNA in your bloodline morphs, but the changes you make can affect how your children care for their health.
For instance, if brushing and flossing were never a big deal in your childhood home, you probably took that into adulthood. Now, you understand the importance of daily dental routines, and you brush and floss regularly, making sure your children do, too.
If you have access to dental care, you can ensure you and your children get regular checkups and cleanings. Oral problems like misaligned teeth and bruxism (clenching and grinding) can be fixed with dental appliances before they cause serious damage.
Even if your bruxing has already eroded your teeth and harmed the muscles and tendons in your mouth, using a night guard can keep the damage from spreading, as discussed in this article by JS Dental Lab.
You are passing the habit of caring for your teeth down to the next generation. This makes it more likely that they will have healthy dental habits that they will share with their children and so on. It may be too late for you to avoid tooth decay and the dangers of poor oral health completely, but your children and descendants don’t have to have the same problems.
If you want to change your overall wellness but aren’t ready to hit the gym and control those cravings just yet, it’s okay. Let your first step be in the bathroom, where you begin changing your oral health routine.
Making this minor adjustment could boost your overall wellness, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and help future generations in your family have healthy DNA!