We live in a very busy, very expensive time. Every day, we have to make decisions about what’s truly urgent or completely necessary vs. what’s a luxury.
So if your mouth or teeth aren’t bothering you and no one else in your family is complaining, it’s easy to say, “I’ll skip the dentist this time, this year, or until I need him or her. It’s not as important as other things right now.”
And that is a dangerous way of thinking. Research of all kinds is showing that neglecting your teeth and skipping the dentist is: 1. Far more expensive than being proactive about your care and 2. Downright dangerous to your overall health.
Not only do 80% of American adults suffer from gum disease, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, poor oral health can also be a contributing factor in developing a range of other issues.
Cases in point:
- Cardiovascular Health. The Academy of General Dentistry has found that because the mouth is an entry point into the body, individuals with gum disease are at a higher risk for a heart attack. Research suggests that the bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the blood stream, and attach to blood vessels, increasing or triggering clot formation. These clots decrease blood to the heart, resulting in increased blood pressure and heart-attack risk.
- Diabetes. There are many complications associated with diabetes, including gum disease. But gum disease also has the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to diabetes.
- Respiratory Health. As you might suspect, poor oral health is a risk factor linked to bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia. Bacteria in the oral cavity are aspirated into the lungs, resulting in painful, dangerous illnesse.
- Pregnancy. Did you know pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis even if they follow a consistent at-home, oral-care routine? It’s true, and periodontal disease leads to a 7X-increased likelihood of a baby born prematurely with low birth weight.
- Breast Cancer. The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a study with 3,000 participants and found that those with chronic gum issues have a higher occurrence of breast cancer. It can also complicate cancer treatment.
The bottom line here is this: Please be proactive about your dentist visits and daily oral care. Doing so will save you so much money and pain in the long run.
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