Maintaining good oral hygiene is not only critical for your teeth and gums– it impacts your overall health too, says Dr. Karim Lalani of Madison Centre Family Dental in Burnaby.
Conversely, if you are not taking care of your teeth, you could be in for serious problems down the road, including a few that you might not have considered.
According to Dr. Lalani, here are five problems you could face in the not-too-distant future simply by neglecting your oral health:
1. Your confidence could take a hit—It’s no secret that a healthy-looking smile boosts one’s self-esteem. But the opposite is also true. Poor dental health will not only diminish one’s appearance—and confidence—it can lead to bad breath, as well.
2. You could render your teeth less effective—Neglecting your teeth today can severely impact your ability to eat the foods your love in the future. Imagine not being able to bite into an apple or chew a steak!
3. It could affect your heart—While researchers don’t yet fully understand the link between heart health and oral health, there appears to be a correlation between heart disease and gum disease. At the very least, regular visits to the dentist could potentially help to identify warning signs of heart problems.
4. It could affect your unborn baby—It is very important for pregnant women to pay close attention to oral health as hormonal changes can lead to a variety of problems such as bleeding gums and pregnancy gingivitis. Women with poor oral health have increased risks of delivering a pre-term baby, or of developing pregnancy-related hypertension.
5. You could miss signs of other health problems— “There’s a strong connection between the mouth and other health conditions, especially when it comes to someone’s diet,” says Dr. Lalalni. “Often times we’re able to make recommendations to patients based on what we see.”
According to Dr. Lalalni, dentists can occasionally identify signs of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and even oral cancers during routine check-ups, which is why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly!