The Importance of Healthy Teeth

Keeping your teeth healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your body, and your health. Probably one of the most under-appreciated warriors in our fight against disease and ill health, teeth are too often neglected. That’s until they subject us to excruciating pain, or leave the battlefield by breaking or falling out. Then we look in the mirror, and blame our teeth for spoiling our smiles.

Healthy teeth

Dentistry is aware of the vital role healthy teeth play in our general health, and emphasises the importance of teeth and oral health, and the need for preventative dentistry and oral care. Studies and trials have shown that the wall of enamel-covered dentin that our teeth create, is a protective fence against an invasion that threatens our bodies. If that wall is breached, collapses, or is broken down, the consequences for our body can be extremely serious, and possibly even life-threatening.

Which comes first, the teeth and gum problems, or the disease? It appears the unhealthy teeth and the resultant gum disease may be the cause. This is because the bad bacteria that build up in an unhealthy mouth, as well as any inflammation and infection which start in the gums, may spread to the rest of the body in the blood stream, or even in the air we breathe.

The first layer of protection

Our oral system is our border control. Teeth greet everything that enters our bodies – the food we eat, the fluid we drink and the air that we breathe. Together with the rest of the mouth, they decide whether or not to grant access. Whatever comes into our mouths is chewed and pulped by the teeth, tasted by the tongue, drenched in saliva to start breaking it down, and then swallowed. If any of these systems, and particularly the teeth, are not in prime condition, they will not function properly.

Consequences of unhealthy teeth

Changes in our smiles and general appearance are the most obvious consequences of unhealthy teeth. But there are many more, like tooth decay, lost teeth, gum disease and bone loss. These in turn can cause agonising pain, affecting the bite, the way we chew, how we speak, and the smell of our breath.

Poor general health:  Dentists at Angel Care Dental recognise a boomerang link between gum disease and Type 2 Diabetes. On one hand, studies show that those with periodontal disease are more likely to get Diabetes Type 2. On the other hand, those who have Type 2 Diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. Similar chicken and the egg scenarios occur when it comes to heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, bacterial pneumonia and pancreatic or oral cancer. There is also a link with early labour, premature birth and low birth weight.

How to keep your teeth healthy

dental checkup

  • Regular dental check-ups at intervals of six to 12 months will allow your dentist to catch any problems early, and treat them before the damage gets too bad. A check-up usually includes a professional cleaning, which will get rid of some of the plaque and tartar build-up that defies our own efforts.
  • Good Oral Hygiene includes a routine program of gentle brushing twice a day, and careful flossing once. It also calls for being alert to changes in your mouth that might indicate problems with your teeth down the line.
  • What you put in your mouth is important. Be aware of the dangers of two much acidic food or drink, and take care to rinse your mouth or brush it about half an hour after consuming these. Acid in your mouth can damage the enamel and also leads to the build-up of plaque.
  • Use your teeth to chew. Don’t use them to cut fishing line, open jars or for any other purpose but to chew. It’s easier to buy a pair of scissors than to face pain, tooth repair or loss.

Your dentist can be your best ally in your fight to keep your teeth healthy, and block possible disease. Dentistry, coupled with your own attention to the state of your teeth, provides the best chance of keeping your teeth healthy and functional for a long time.