There are plenty of reasons to take good care of your mouth that go beyond a bright, white smile. Good oral hygiene can actually impact your overall health!

Studies have shown there are a number of different ways in which our oral health can impact our bodies, everything from reducing inflammation to keeping our memory sharp.

It’s never too early or too late to adopt good oral hygiene habits, so whatever your age may be, Dillehay Orthodontics want to help you keep your teeth healthy and your mouth happy. Keep reading below to learn more about the connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body, and how Dillehay Orthodontics can help you get there!

Confidence booster

Your smile is one of the very first things people see when they meet you, and one of the things they remember the most. Nobody wants to be remembered for unsightly teeth or bad breath! Both these things – and more – can be caused by gum disease and tooth decay. This can affect your self-esteem and your self-image, dropping the level of confidence you have in yourself and your appearance. When you have a healthy mouth that’s free of gingivitis and cavities, you’re almost guaranteed a better quality of life. You’ll able to look into the mirror with a smile you love, and you may even find that you’re eating, sleeping, and concentrating better, too, since you won’t have any aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you anymore.

Boost your memory

It seems like you hear about gingivitis on just about every other toothpaste commercial you see, but what exactly it? Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and the initial stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is the more advanced form. According to reports published by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, a link exists between gum disease and cognitive function. Adults with gingivitis performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with healthier mouths. Additionally, periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, as well as using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste, are easy and important ways you can help prevent the buildup of bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease.

Reducing infection and inflammation

Research has also found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts suggest that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. By eating a well-balanced diet and practicing excellent oral hygiene, you can help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This will go a long way toward keeping inflammation and infection to a minimum, at least in your mouth.

 

Beyond the cosmetic

invisalign

Orthodontic treatment isn’t simply cosmetic in nature, with no impact or benefit beyond a straighter smile. Dental issues can cause health problems that have an impact on chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech. When your teeth or jaws are misaligned, it can expose you to more risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Orthodontics is functional, with treatments offering both cosmetic and health benefits that last. People often think of orthodontic treatment only in terms of straightening the teeth to produce a more perfect smile, and may not be aware of the many benefits that properly aligned teeth and jaws offer.

Aid in digestion

Jaws and teeth that are properly aligned can not only prevent dental injuries and decay, but also allow you to chew and process your food in the most effective manner. Chewing our food is the very first part of the digestion process, and the most crucial. Yet it’s so simple that many of us neglect this essential step, scarfing our food down, barely even chewing it before swallowing.

Chewing thoroughly is important. This is how our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest, giving the intestines the chance to absorb nutrients properly. When food can’t be chewed properly because of misaligned teeth and jaws, it won’t digest as well in your stomach. This means your body will have to use more energy in order to absorb all the nutrients. Not to mention that food you can’t chew properly can create a choking hazard when you eat!

Steer clear of long-term damage to your teeth and jaws

Do you bite the inside of your cheek frequently when you’re chewing, speaking, or swallowing? Do your teeth collide when you chew or close your mouth? If these issues happen regularly, it can cause you lasting problems. Teeth can be chipped or injured if they’re continuously colliding, and jaws that are repeatedly sustaining force can suffer. Orthodontic treatment is able to address these issues, providing you with the kind of results you need to protect your teeth, your jaws, and your smile for a lifetime.

Keep tooth decay at bay

Overcrowded teeth can be hard to clean! Plaque easily accumulates due to trapped food, eating away at the enamel and forming cavities. To make matters worse, cavities in between your teeth are harder to see and treat because they’re often detected only after they’ve become a big enough problem that you notice symptoms.

The build up of plaque also plays a big role in the health of your gums, because it can lead to gum disease. When you allow an orthodontist to address these overcrowding issues, you’ll make it harder for plaque and cavities to form in between your teeth, preserving the health of your gums and mouth.

Happy, healthy teeth and gums with Dillehay Orthodontics

Dr. J.K. Dillehay

If you’re in the Wichita, Derby, Arkansas City, or Newton areas, and wondering if orthodontic treatment could help you achieve better oral health, leading to improved overall health, Dillehay Orthodontics is where you want to be. With two experienced orthodontists, and a talented, experienced team, we’re dedicated to providing you with personalized service from your first visit to your last.

We can help provide you with a smile that’s not only healthy but attractive and functional as well. Get in touch today to see what we can offer you!