Just what do you think you’re doing when you brush and floss your teeth? Well, if you answered making sure your smile stays clean and healthy, then you’re only partially correct. When you practice your regular at-home hygiene care–and when you come to Paraiso Family Dental & Orthodontics in Newbury Park, CA, for dental cleanings and exams—you’re also taking good care of your whole body.
Your mouth is part and parcel of your entire bodily system. Actually, as the entry for all of the foods and beverages you consume to be healthy, your mouth in some regards leads that system along with your heart, lungs and bloodstream. But beyond that, your mouth is home to millions and millions of bacteria. Granted some are good and play an integral role in the digestive process. Other bacteria, however, are troublesome. If left to linger inside your mouth too long—i.e. you forget to brush and floss every now then—they can collect in plaque, that slimy substance you feel in your mouth when you haven’t brushed in a while. After too long, these bacteria start to infect your gums and lead to periodontal disease, both gingivitis and periodontitis. By itself, gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. How much havoc? Well, periodontitis, the name for advanced gum disease, is the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults.
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Beyond the trouble in your mouth that these bacteria can cause, they can migrate to other organs and systems in your body, as well. The consequences can be no less than life threatening. Reliable scientific studies have drawn a connection between oral bacteria and health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, pneumonia and even complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Although the evidence is not conclusive to the point that researchers are willing to confirm a cause and effect relationship between oral health and general health, there is certainly enough data to support a strong tie between the two. Therefore, you should not underestimate the value of good oral health care. So for goodness sake, brush and floss your teeth.
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And be sure to schedule your regular checkups with Dr. Chafee and the team at Paraiso Family Dental & Orthodontics. We welcome patients from Newbury Park, CA, and surrounding areas including Malibu, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, and Westlake Village.