Can a Lack of Good Oral Health Habits Kill You?

This is not a drill. Oral health is serious. You remember our last blog on Winter Oral Health? Oh, you don’t?  Well go read it right now. Or, maybe, just read it after you read this blog, I don’t care. Read both. Follow us on Instagram! Tell everyone about us, including your grandmother! Okay, I digress. The point of this blog is not to talk about how awesome we are. So, what is the point?

Neglecting your oral health can have serious consequences, and not just for your mouth. The mouth is a gateway to your respiratory system and your digestive system, and poor oral hygiene can be linked to multifarious health complications and diseases, including problems with pregnancy, endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and more.

“But how?! It’s just a mouth! “   

            Well, young Padawan, allow me to explain. The mouth is the gateway of all our internal systems. Aside from the old “you are what you eat” adage, this means a lot. You have an idea of what plaque and tartar are right? I hope you go to the dentist at least that often, but just in case you don’t, I’ll cover it really fast.

 Plaque is what happens when food particles attract bacteria to form a slimy film on your teeth. Gross, but as long as you’re brushing and flossing regularly, you can get rid of it. Tartar, however, is what happens when plaque is left long enough to calcify and harden. You will need your dentist’s handy little tools to scrape that stuff off.

The devil is in the tartar. It can lodge in your gums, making them inflamed and causing pockets to develop, eating away at not only your gums, but your tooth structure. Bacteria can enter through those pockets into your bloodstream, and this is where even more serious issues occur. That bacteria causes inflammation, and we all know that inflammation is no bueno: It’s what links to the laundry list of other serious conditions. Oral health has been linked to things like Alzheimer’s, stroke, and erectile dysfunction.  Some doctors have even started recommending periodontal treatments as preventative medicine for diabetes.  

One more thing: Sugar is not good for your teeth or your overall health. I know you already know this. Sugar causes the bacteria on your teeth to release acids that attack enamel. So, go ahead and put down that seventh Christmas cookie! I know it’s a party and you deserve to #treatyoself, but let’s be honest, the line for that was approximately one vat of icing ago

Seriously! Use your toothbrush, mouthwash and floss. Go to the dentist and take care of your mouth. It could actually save you money in the long run, and you will be significantly more likely to avoid a variety of health issues.


Men’s Journal

Mayo Clinic

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