Author: Dr. Michael Letham | September 26th, 2018
Other than the captivating radiance of a perfect smile, a complete set of healthy teeth has more to offer. People, of course, love straight, perfect teeth. What they don’t realize is that aside from being better-looking, healthy teeth hold many benefits that go beyond simple aesthetics.
This is why vanity shouldn’t be your only reason for taking care of your dental health. Take the opportunity to reap the following benefits by giving extra attention to the health of your teeth and gums:
When it comes to oral health, prevention costs much less than dealing with a major dental problem. Prevention entails daily participation on your part to care for your teeth and gums. Furthermore, it requires your commitment to visit your dentist on a regular basis which, in most cases, happens only twice a year.
Being consistent with your dental visits allows your dentist to do a complete oral examination and screening every time. Your dentist will be looking for any signs of immediate dental issues as well as clues indicating future problems. This way, your dentist can make the best recommendations for treatment to prevent dental problems from becoming worse.
The cost of complicated or serious dental procedures is usually quite significant. This is why maintaining optimum dental health is of prime importance to save money and avoid breaking the bank.
When faced with a serious dental health condition, book an emergency dental treatment immediately to address it before it becomes much worse.
Having good oral health can prevent and reduce the risk of you ever getting oral cancer.
People who chew tobacco, smoke, and drink excessively are at a higher risk of this dental disease. But when you have good dental habits and don’t skip regular check-ups, oral cancer won’t be something you’ll need to worry about.
Keeping to your dental appointments also means you can get oral cancer screening whenever you want.
Teeth suffering from cavities will often require tooth fillings. Cavities are the holes in your teeth and are the leading causes of toothaches. This is due to plaque clinging to your teeth and dissolving enamel, thereby creating holes in them.
Plaque can be easily removed through brushing which is why practicing daily oral care habits to prevent cavities and plaque build-up is essential.
When you have crooked teeth, you can suffer from speech impediments such as lisping and the inability to pronounce some words.
Speech impediments are usually caused by gaps between teeth where air can unintentionally pass through, or by misaligned teeth which prevent your tongue from producing the right sounds.
Specific orthodontic treatments can address certain speech impediments. When you have healthy teeth, better speech is also a lovely complement to a beautiful smile.
More than just straining your teeth, a bad bite also stresses out the joints of your jaw. When the temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw to your skull are irritated by the strain of crooked teeth, you will experience jaw pain, ear aches, headaches and dizziness. Crooked teeth are at a huge risk for tooth grinding which is one of the causes of persistent headaches.
When you sleep, your jaw will normally want your teeth to be aligned and look for the most comfortable resting position. If you usually wake up with a headache in the morning, then it’s likely that tooth grinding is the cause. This causes the muscles at the top of your jaw to become sore and tender thereby leading to headaches.
Your dentist will be able to recommend a dental tool you can wear at night to help manage tooth grinding. With straight teeth, you can get an aligned bite – reducing the possibility of tooth grinding at night.
The best functional aspect of having healthy teeth is that you can chew food and digest it properly. When you can eat normally, you don’t just consume soft foods like porridge but have the freedom to enjoy any type of food you want – the sky’s the limit.
Although you can eat anything you want with a complete set of teeth, try limiting your consumption of the foods below:
Ice, hard candy
The first four items on the above list are among the most common culprits causing plaque and weakening your tooth enamel, while biting into ice and hard candy can cause tooth injury. So every time you eat, think twice about the food that you put in your mouth to avoid losing any of your teeth and ruining your dental health.
Remember that even a single missing tooth can affect your eating habits. This is because your remaining teeth will pick up the slack of the missing one. The increase in the wear and tear of your remaining teeth will also heighten the risk of losing the rest, too.
Gum disease will make it harder for you to control blood glucose.
The relationship between diabetes and serious gum disease is a two-way street. Not only are individuals with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, serious gum disease also has the potential to progress diabetes and affect blood glucose control.
Fresh breath is hard to come by especially if you have cavities and are developing gum disease.
Harmful bacteria proliferating in the mouth is the leading cause of bad breath. By treating decay or infection and maintaining good dental health, you can take confidence in having fresher breath all the time.
The first step stage of gum disease is gingivitis which is also known as the inflammation of the gums. This is often caused by plaque build-up around your teeth which then leads to the bleeding or swelling of gums.
Plaque is a combination of food and bacteria. When you faithfully adhere to proper dental care habits, you can prevent gum disease from happening and continue enjoying a healthy smile.
Persons with chronic gum conditions like advanced periodontal disease and gingivitis are also at a high risk for heart disease.
Dental health and heart disease are connected by the spread of germs and other harmful bacteria — from the mouth to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Once these bacteria reach your heart, they can bind themselves to any damaged or weakened tissue and cause inflammation.
Many cardiovascular conditions have been linked to the inflammation caused by oral bacteria. However, with adequate oral hygiene and giving your teeth and gums the TLC they need, you can avoid such serious health conditions.
Keep in mind that your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, so whatever you do to it will reflect on your body.
When your teeth and gums are fully functional and in great shape, you don’t just improve your appearance but also enjoy the benefits of good dental health.
Wanting your smile to look good is only natural.
However, don’t do so only for vanity’s sake, and focus more on the great health benefits you can get. Practice good dental habits to prevent tooth decay and other dental issues so that you don’t miss out on a beautiful healthy smile.
Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual's requirements, Mike's focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.