The Drs. Boyd want to send a warm Mother’s Day wish to our patients, and we would also like to spread the word that May 14 to 20 is National Women’s Health Week. What steps can you take for better health? A lot of it depends on your age, but there’s a common theme for women of all stages of life: regular dental attention contributes to systemic well-being! Learn more about the connection between your oral and overall health below, then schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning today.
How Your Smile’s Health Affects the Rest of Your Body
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, so it makes sense that problems here can affect your overall health and wellbeing. You may not recognize a problem like gum disease or tooth decay until they reach severe levels, so that’s why it is important to visit the Drs. Boyd regularly.
Oral and overall health are closely linked for men and women, but post-menopausal women may have some special dental concerns for keeping their bodies healthy. Recent studies suggest that tooth loss after menopause is linked to shorter lifespans — so for women, maintaining good dental hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly may be especially crucial later in life.
Additional links between oral and overall health include:
- Cardiovascular health: Gum disease has been linked to a number of heart problems, and sleep apnea, which if not treated by your dentist, can cause heart attack, stroke, and even premature death.
- Cancer: People undergoing treatment for cancer are susceptible to higher rates of tooth decay and should have preventive fluoride treatment.
- Diabetes: People with uncontrolled blood glucose levels are more likely to experience gum disease. Treating one can reduce the occurrence of the other. Dry mouth, a symptom of diabetes, also increases risk of tooth decay.
- HIV: Because HIV affects the immune system, people with the condition are far more likely to also suffer from gum disease and other oral conditions that may make it difficult to chew, swallow, or taste food. The mouth may also be the first part of the body to exhibit the signs of HIV.
- Nutrition: Missing, painful, or sensitive teeth affect a person’s ability to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Tooth replacement is crucial after the loss of one or more teeth. Brushing with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste can help to reduce discomfort from heat and cold.
The Need for Prevention
It is far preferable to keep problems from occurring in the first place than it is to repair an existing issue. Preventive dentistry and regular dental hygiene are crucial for enjoying excellent oral and overall health for a lifetime.
Preventive dental care includes:
- Brushing gently for two minutes, twice a day. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush to ensure you are cleaning thoroughly for the recommended time.
- Flossing daily.
- Quitting or avoiding tobacco.
- Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Protecting the teeth with a mouthguard for contact sports or nighttime teeth grinding.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
There has never been a better time to visit the Drs. Boyd than during May, when we celebrate Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week! Preventive dental care is crucial to your overall wellbeing and smile, so protect both by requesting a visit with your dentist today.