For an early age, we are taught to practice good oral hygiene so that we can have picture-perfect teeth and pleasant-smelling breath. Daily routines like brushing your teeth and flossing after every meal can help you achieve this. But is there more to oral care than just providing people with a good set of pearly whites? As a matter of fact, yes there is!
Your mouth is the window to the rest of your body, and its health can tell a lot about your current well-being. Many diseases and infection of major organs that have oral manifestations can also stem from terrible dental habits, so it’s important to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.
Aside from giving you a dazzling smile and being a sign of good health, having clean teeth also offers other benefits for your body.
Enhances cognitive function and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease:
Things you can do to improve your cognitive fitness include solving puzzles, going to museums, eating food items rich in vitamin E like nuts and green leafy vegetables, and yes, brushing your teeth. A study conducted by New York University researchers revealed that people with gum inflammation are at a greater risk for having lower cognitive function compared to those without periodontal swelling.
There are also other studies that suggest that those with gingivitis and other gum problems are more prone to suffer from cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. So, if you want to keep your brain healthy, keep your gums in good shape.
Reduces sexual problems in men:
It might surprise men to know that oral health can affect their sex lives, but it’s true. An Israeli research group found that regular brushing and keeping the gums healthy can improve sperm count. On the other hand, if you don’t brush your teeth properly, bacteria can build up in your mouth, enter your bloodstream, and affect your reproductive organs. Those unwanted microbes can cause penile blood vessels to narrow, resulting in erectile dysfunction.
It can improve pregnancy health:
Pregnant women have a lot of health issues to keep in check, like blood pressure, weight gain, and nutrition. They also have to manage their oral health because pregnant women are prone to gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, irritated, or bleeding gums.
This mild gingivitis can become the onset of a more serious form of periodontal disease, which can not only damage a woman’s dental condition but also the health of her baby. There is even one study published in the Journal of Periodontology that shows that out of the 450 pregnant women studied, 79% of the participants with gum diseases gave birth to premature babies with low birth weights.
Prevents cardiovascular diseases:
The simple act of brushing your teeth may also keep heart diseases away, as researchers from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, discovered a link between gum health and cardiovascular diseases. The researchers found out that chronic gum infection can result in atherosclerosis, the primary cause of heart attacks.
Mouth infections can also lead to endocarditis, an inflammation of the inner lining of your heart. This happens when germs and bacteria from your mouth spread through your bloodstream and attach themselves to your heart.
Fends off respiratory problems:
You can reduce your chances of developing fatal or disabling respiratory infections like pneumonia and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) by taking just a few minutes of your time to brush your choppers.
We all know that the mouth is full of bacteria which, if left unchecked, can build up plaque and tartar that can cause periodontal diseases. When left untreated, this gum diseases can spread bacteria into the lower respiratory tract, which can then become the beginning of pulmonary diseases.
Helps you lose weight:
Here’s a fun fact: six minutes of brushing (three times a day, two minutes each time), can burn 3500 calories per year. That’s about a pound of fat. How is this possible?
There are mental and physical factors involved. When we brush our teeth, it signals your brain that you’re done eating. This combats the desire to eat after cleaning your teeth, which is good for those on a diet but have a habit of indulging in midnight snacks. Also, the minty taste left after tooth brushing is unpleasant when paired with most food and drinks. Don’t believe it? Try drinking orange juice or eating bread after you’ve brushed your teeth. The strange and unappetizing taste will probably squash your urge to munch on something else.
As you can see, having clean teeth can benefit you in many ways. But to get those benefits, you need to maintain a proper oral care routine that includes regular brushing and flossing. You should also never forget to visit your dentist.