Valentine’s Day has wrapped up, and as you finish off the last of your chocolate sweets, we encourage you to think about your dental health.

Are you brushing twice a day for two full minutes? What about flossing and using mouth rinse? When was the last time you saw the dentist?

It may be time to reevaluate your priorities when it comes to dental hygiene.

Here’s why:

  • 15-20 percent of adults 35-44 years old have severe gum disease
  • There are between 1-10 cases of oral cancer found in every 100,000 people
  • 60-90 percent of school-age children have at least one cavity
  • Almost 100 percent of adults have at least one cavity
  • 30 percent of people worldwide ages 65-74 have zero natural teeth left

The Big Picture

Sometimes, we don’t place as much importance on our oral health as we do other things like our bones or heart. But what’s going on inside your mouth can directly affect your overall health, and vice versa.

Here’s how:

1. Cavities

Cavities occur when the enamel (outer coating) or the dentin (inner layer) of the tooth decay.

Cavities can cause sensitivity, toothaches, holes, pain, and tooth stains. If a cavity goes untreated and becomes serious, it can cause severe infections, permanent tooth loss, and pain that interferes with daily life.

2. Stress

When people are stressed, anxious, or depressed, they may be at a higher risk for oral health problems. Under pressure, your body produces high levels of cortisol, which is unhealthy for your gums. When you feel tense, your jaw may lock up, causing your teeth to grind and wear against each other. 

Studies show that 50 percent of people don’t floss or brush regularly when they’re stressed out. Other stress-related habits that negatively impact your dental hygiene include smoking, overeating sugary or fatty foods, and drinking alcohol.

3. Gums

Gums can be very telling about the state of our health. For example, sore and pale gums are signs of anemia, receding gums can be due to sleep apnea, and dry gums may be a symptom of immune system problems. Shockingly, almost half of adults 30 years and older have some type of gum disease.

Gum disease creeps up gradually if oral health is neglected, and it’s shown through symptoms like redness, swollenness, tenderness, and bleeding. Some studies show that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Additionally, high blood sugar levels significantly increase a diabetic’s risk of getting gum disease.

4. Mental Health

Taking care of your dental hygiene benefits both your physical and mental health. Whether you’re talking to someone, eating, or smiling for a picture, our mouths attract a lot of attention. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth, breath, and gums, it could take a toll on your mental health. Taking care of your mouth will make you feel good about your appearance and boost your confidence.

Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital’s doors are open 24/7, every single day of the year. Our facility is equipped to handle any type of medical issue, including oral emergencies like busted lips, sliced gums, or infections. No matter what the dilemma, our staff of incredible doctors and nurses will help you through it!  

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital, or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Author jsmith

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