When patients at Sindledecker Dentistry think about oral or dental hygiene, they typically consider brushing and flossing as primary components. While these practices are indeed crucial, dental hygiene encompasses a broader spectrum. The health of your mouth, including your teeth, plays a vital role in your overall physical well-being. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research released the surgeon general’s inaugural report on dental health, titled “A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health.” In this report, the Surgeon General emphasizes that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its definition of health to encompass “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.”
The Significance of Oral Health in Overall Well-being
A key message in the dental health report is the assertion that one cannot achieve health without oral health. The report underscores the inseparable connection between oral health and general health, emphasizing that they should not be viewed as separate entities. Given the critical role of oral health in overall well-being, it should be integrated into all community health programs. For individuals, this means that caring for your mouth, teeth, and overall oral health is as essential as taking care of the rest of your body. The two predominant dental conditions are caries (cavities or tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease.
Impact of Oral Health on Overall Health
One significant illustration of how good oral health contributes to overall well-being is evident in studies showing a substantial reduction in blood sugar levels among diabetic patients after successful treatment of their periodontal (gum) disease. The human mouth harbors around 500 different bacterial species, some of which are harmless or even beneficial for maintaining intestinal flora balance. However, harmful bacteria can lead to gum infections, causing gingivitis. In response, your body’s immune system may attempt to combat these invaders, resulting in inflammation and bleeding when you brush.
Now that you recognize the paramount importance of good dental hygiene, ensure that you receive professional teeth cleaning every six months, undergo regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush every couple of months. Contact us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Boca Raton location.