Taking good care of your mouth does more than help you have a bright, white smile. Good oral hygiene can actually improve your overall health! Studies have shown there are a number of ways in which oral health can impact our bodies, from reducing inflammation to helping preserve our cognitive skills. It’s never too late to adopt good oral hygiene habits, so our team here at Sawgrass Orthodontics have put together this list of 3 ways healthy teeth and gums can boost your overall health. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between a healthy mouth and a healthy body, and how orthodontics can help you get there.

Improve your self-confidence
Your smile is the first thing people see when they meet you, and if you’re insecure about the state your mouth is in, that can be bad news for you. Decaying teeth and gum disease can produce an unsightly mouth and very bad breath. This can easily affect your self-esteem, your self-image, and the level of confidence you have in yourself and your appearance. If you have a healthy mouth that’s free of gingivitis and cavities, your quality of life is almost guaranteed to improve! Not only will you able to look into the mirror with a smile, but you’ll often find that you’re eating, sleeping, and concentrating better, too, with no aching teeth or mouth infections to bother you.

Preserve your memory
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, and the initial stage of gum disease, with periodontitis the more advanced form. According to reports published by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, there is a link between gum disease and cognitive function. Adults with gingivitis performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those who had healthier gums and mouths, and periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, as well as using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste, can help reduce the buildup of bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease.

Lower the risks of infection and inflammation
Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. According to experts, 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. Eating a well-balanced diet and practicing excellent oral hygiene helps to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, keeping inflammation and infection to a minimum, at least in your mouth.

HOW ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR ORAL HEALTH

Orthodontic treatment isn’t simply cosmetic in nature, with no impact beyond a straighter smile. Oral issues can cause health problems that have an impact on chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech. Misaligned teeth and jaws can expose you to more risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Orthodontics are functional, with treatments that offer both cosmetic and health benefits that last. Many people only think of orthodontic treatment in terms of straightening the teeth for a more perfect smile, and not necessarily the many benefits that properly aligned teeth and jaws offer.

Jaws and teeth that are aligned can prevent dental injuries and decay, and also chew and process food in the most effective manner. Consider some of the practical benefits orthodontic treatment can offer you, such as:

Digestion
The very first and most crucial step of the digestion process is chewing your food. So many of us neglect this essential step, barely chewing our food before we swallow it. Chewing thoroughly is important because it converts large pieces of food into smaller particles that are more easily digested. This makes it easier for the intestines to absorb nutrients from those food particles as they pass through your system.  Food that can’t be chewed up properly due to misalignment of the teeth and jaws won’t digest as well in your stomach, meaning your body will have to use more energy in order to absorb the nutrients. Furthermore, food you can’t chew properly creates a choking hazard when you eat.

Avoid long-term damage to teeth and jaws
Have you ever found yourself biting the inside of your cheek when you are chewing, speaking, or swallowing? Does it ever feel like your teeth collide when you chew or close your mouth, sending a jarring sensation throughout your jaw and face? Teeth can be chipped or injured when they continuously collide, and jaws that are repeatedly sustaining force suffer and can cause you lasting problems. Orthodontic treatment can address these issues, and provide you with the results you need to protect your teeth, your jaws, and your smile over the course of your lifetime.

Help prevent tooth decay
Teeth that are overcrowded can be much harder to clean because plaque is able to easily accumulate due to trapped food. This plaque eats away at the enamel, causing cavities to form, and cavities in between your teeth are harder to see and treat since they are often only detected after they’ve become a big problem. A weakened, decaying tooth can also have an effect on the adjacent teeth, causing a ripple effect of problems throughout the mouth. Additionally, plaque build-up plays a role in the health of your gums and can lead to gum disease. By addressing these overcrowding issues, you make it harder for plaque and cavities to form in between your teeth, preserving the health of your gums and mouth.

KEEP YOUR MOUTH HEALTHY AND HAPPY WITH SAWGRASS ORTHODONTICS

If you’re in the Davie, Weston, Plantation, Cooper City, or Sunrise areas, and wondering if orthodontic treatment might help you achieve better oral and overall health, Sawgrass Orthodontics is the place to be. We have a talented, experienced team dedicated to providing personalized service to every patient we see, and we even offer a free initial consultation to identify any of your orthodontic needs. We can help provide you with a healthy, attractive, and functional smile, so get in touch today to see what we have to offer!

- Dr. Langford

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