The New Year brings a fresh start and new beginnings. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? The top two resolutions for 2014 were lose weight and get organized. How many times do New Year’s resolutions include a person’s dental health? It probably wouldn’t be a stretch to say never, but with the connection between dental health and overall health it definitely should. In today’s blog, we discuss why dental health should be on the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
The connection between oral health and overall health is not a new one. The idea of such a connection dates back to an 1891 report proposing that oral microorganisms were linked to the development of diseases in other parts of the human body. Such diseases included digestive diseases, pulmonary diseases, brain abscesses, and other systemic infectious diseases. Studies into an oral-systemic connection have continued over the years. Since the 1980s, more reliable scientific investigative procedures have established a connection between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases, primarily diabetes and heart disease.
Ward Off Periodontal Disease
In most cases periodontal disease develops due to poor oral hygiene. Pathogenic oral bacteria feed on food debris, sugars, and starches remaining in your mouth after meals and produce enamel eating acids which rot teeth and irritate gum tissue. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily helps reduce pathogenic bacteria and the resulting bacterial plaque. However, if the plaque is not removed it hardens into tartar and can spread under your gum tissue, resulting in periodontal disease.
Once plaque hardens into tartar it can only be removed via a professional dental cleaning and specialized tools. To avoid periodontal disease, brush for two minutes twice daily, floss once daily, and visit your dentist twice a year.
About Dr. Jeffrey Allen
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.