Two Reasons Why Preventative Dentistry Requires A Holistic Approach

People think preventative dental care involves only tending to the teeth and gums by brushing daily and seeing the dentist regularly for checkups. In reality, good oral care requires a more holistic mindset that includes taking care of the whole body as well as making good lifestyle choices and here are two reasons why.

Body Ailments Can Negatively Impact Oral Health

Your tooth and gums don't exist in a vacuum. They sit in your mouth with is attached to the rest of your body. As such, health issues that occur in the body can have a negative impact on your oral health and vice versa. For instance, acid reflux disease causes stomach acid to flow into the mouth. This acid can wear down tooth enamel and irritate gums, increasing your risk of developing cavities and gum disease.

Likewise, poor oral health can hurt your body in numerous ways. Bacteria from an infection in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and damage major organs, such as the heart and kidneys, for example. In fact, scientists have linked periodontal disease to several health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and even arthritis.

Thus, tending to your overall health may be one of the best forms of preventative dental care you do. Getting your blood sugar levels under control, for instance, can minimize the damage diabetes can do to teeth and gums. At the same time, treating gum disease early can reduce your risk of developing heart problems later.

Lifestyle Choices Can Damage Teeth and Gums

Most people know eating too much sugar or biting their nails are bad for their teeth. But there are some lifestyle choices that don't appear to have any connection to oral health at first but can result in damaged teeth and gums. Working at a high-stress job, for instance, can cause a person to develop bruxism and the tooth grinding associated with the disease can result in broken teeth and even tooth loss.

Its essential you take a look at how your lifestyle choices will ultimately impact both your body and oral health. Even simple things like chewing ice, not exercising, and eating unhealthy foods may ultimately show up in the form of oral infections or tooth damage. It's a good idea to have a long conversation with your dentist about the aspects of your life that can have the most impact on your teeth and gums and look for ways to mitigate any negative impact those aspects may have.

To learn about different things you can do to protect your oral health, contact a local dentist.