How Bad Oral Hygiene Causes Poor General Health (and How We Can Help) By fairfaxfamilydentalcare on November 01, 2023

grandmother and granddaughter brushing their teethMany studies have shown a link between poor oral health and general health problems. When left untreated, dental problems such as dental cavities, root canal infections, and gum disease can result in more serious problems.

At Fairfax Family Dental Care in Fairfax, VA, our team of dental professionals have the skill and technology to detect dental problems and recommend the appropriate treatment plan so bad oral hygiene doesn’t cause poor general health. Read on to learn more about the link between poor oral health and general wellness.

The Link Between Dental and General Health

Studies have shown that high levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth have been linked to liver disease, renal failure, cancers, heart disease, and hypertension.

People are always going to have some levels of bacteria within the human body, or microbiome. The key to maintaining good health is keeping these bacteria and other organisms in good balance.

When abnormal dental bacteria are able to flourish in the mouth, it can cause inflammation and the gradual development of periodontal disease and tooth decay. As gum disease destroys the gum and begins to erode the bone, and cavities in the mouth grow larger and expose the root canals, inflammatory molecules called cytokines can enter the bloodstream. Cytokines activate the body’s immune and inflammation responses, which is believed to be one of the reasons why dental problems are linked to general health problems.

However, it is important to remember that our microbiome is influenced by our diets and lifestyles. If you have poor dental health, you can change it.

Tips to Prevent Dental and General Health Problems

There are many things you can do to get your oral health on track.

  • Dental check-ups and cleanings: Make sure to visit the dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up. If you have missed one or more appointments, you may need to undergo additional treatment to improve your oral health.
  • Avoid sugary and carb-heavy foods: This creates an environment where bacteria can grow and flourish, making dental issues such as gum disease more likely.
  • Adopt a good dental hygiene routine: Don’t forget to brush in the morning and at night. In addition, it is critical to floss daily to prevent periodontal disease and other dental problems. In some cases, dentists may also recommend the daily use of an antibacterial mouthwash.

Preventive and General Dental Care Services

If you suffer from the moderate stages of gum disease, a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, can be enough to treat the condition. This service allows our dentists to clean beneath the gum line where plaque has accumulated. We may also recommend antiseptic rinses or prescribe antibiotics to reduce inflammation.

In more severe cases, oral surgery procedures like gum grafts or bone grafts may need to be performed to rebuild your smile. If you have lost teeth, dental implants may be placed.

If your tooth has been severely damaged, we will determine if a root canal procedure can save it. If not, we may recommend tooth extraction, followed by a tooth replacement treatment.

Contact Our Practice

Our team of dental professionals can help detect dental problems and recommend the appropriate treatment plan so bad oral hygiene doesn’t cause poor general health. To schedule a dental appointment, contact Fairfax Family Dental Care today.

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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