When you think about visiting a dental clinic, you probably think about improving or maintaining your oral health, but you may not realize that protecting your oral health is actually key to improving your long-term overall health. There are always some bacteria in your body and in your mouth. Many of these bacteria are helpful to our bodies. Our immune systems keep bacterial numbers from getting too high. Good oral hygiene is also key to controlling the bacterial count in your mouth.
Saliva production also protects your oral health by constantly flushing your mouth. If you are on any medications that reduce saliva production, you must be especially careful to protect your oral health in other ways. Everyone has reduced saliva production at night, which is why brushing and flossing before you go to bed is so important to protect your teeth.
Certain health issues make it more likely that you will have oral health problems, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
If you have any of these conditions, you may need to visit your dental clinic more frequently to monitor your dental health. Pregnant women also need to be alert for periodontal disease, as it increases the likelihood of problems like low birth weight and premature birth.
The good news is that there are things you can do to protect your oral health. Make sure you are changing your toothbrush several times each year. Limit your snacking, especially of foods that are high in starch and sugar. Avoid tobacco products. Also, scheduling regular checkups at your dental clinic gives you a chance to solve dental problems in the early stages.