What Other Health Conditions are Associated with Dental Care

Categories: Health


There are many reasons why proper dental care is important. One of these is easy to see, because it involves something easy to see: the smile. Making sure that teeth are clean, cared for, and properly aligned will result in a smile that is straight and white. Furthermore, excellent dental care can help ward off the appearance of wrinkles, which tend to come far more quickly in people who have neglected their teeth.

Better still, proper dental care can prevent a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria is a main cause of tooth discoloration, so controlling it will go far to keep the whiteness of teeth as was just mentioned. Better still, ridding the mouth of bacteria will remove a main cause of bad breath.

Proper dental care can go far to help maintain a person’s good looks and – as far as breath goes – pleasant smell. It can also keep a person feeling pleasant, at least as far as their mouths are concerned. One potential consequence of imperfectly maintained dental is pain: inattention to dental hygiene can lead to cavities (which can make teeth sensitive to hot, cold, and sugar), and inflamed gums. Moreover, teeth what have are not properly aligned teeth can hurt, and can cause grinding which can lead to tongue thrust and so-called “burning tongue” syndrome, as well as headaches. They might also impel a sufferer to avoid certain kinds of foods which, because of bad teeth, might be too uncomfortable to eat.

All of these are pretty good reasons to keep up with one’s dental care. There are, however, even better ones, as vigilance with the teeth can also ward off other health conditions that can be dire, even fatal. What are some of these conditions?

Victory over the defeat of the jaws

Keeping the mouth free from buildup of bacteria can keep away staining, cavities, and bad breath. It can also prevent gum disease. This is a good thing in and of itself, since advanced gum disease can mean pain and tooth loss. Additionally, periodontal disease can spread to the jaw and cause bone resorption, whereby the bone of a jaw disintegrates. Thus, looking after the teeth can also help maintain the strength of the jaw.

Speaking of the jaw: as was mentioned, poorly maintained teeth can lead to tooth loss, and among the many unpleasant outcomes from tooth loss is that it can cause the remaining teeth to shift out of alignment. Badly aligned teeth – whatever the cause – can lead to bruxism (grinding), as was also mentioned earlier. It can also lead to interference with the proper function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints (there is one on each side of the jaw) connect the lower jaw to the skull and allows the mouth to open and close. Discomfort to the TMJ can make chewing, drinking, swallowing, speaking, singing, or even yawning very painful.

Proper dental care can preserve the integrity of the jaw, and can keep the TMJ in good shape.

Life-saving consequences of dental health

Bad breath, sore teeth, a stained smile, and a weakened, hurting jaw are painful but not necessarily life-threatening. However, other maladies connected to dental care can be.

For one thing, in sufficiently advanced cases poor dental care can lead to pain so terrible that it can constrain the diet, which can threaten intake of vitamins and minerals and can even cause malnutrition. Hair loss, weakness, muscle loss, and even death can result, though all of this can be avoided by maintaining good dental care.

Over the last thirty years, studies have shown that the buildup of bacteria in the mouth can have other consequences. Bacterial buildup can make pneumonia much worse. In pregnant people, bacteria has been shown to contribute to premature birth and low birth weight.

More recently, the last five years have seen publication of studies that show non-oral illnesses which periodontal disease can help cause or make more virulent. Periodontal disease interacts with pancreas and liver in a way that increases the risk for diabetes, for example. Tooth loss in particular can enhance the threat of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, and bacterial buildup can raise the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Given the dreadful nature of all of these conditions, preventing them with excellent dental care only makes sense, especially considering the other benefits of this care.

The advantages of good dental care

Proper dental care can contribute quite a bit to a person’s quality of life, and can even help to prolong it. Maintaining good dental health or attending to any issues with it is therefore an excellent idea. Regular visits to a dentist will do much to ensure that a person can keep or restore their dental health.

Whether you want a brighter smile, need to close a gap, or have broken teeth, our Santa Cruz cosmetic dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can help you restore your smile and regain your confidence. To find out which treatments are best for your oral health, please call our office at (831) 824-5111 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.