Poor Dental Habits Can Wreak Havoc on Your Health





By Therese Vannier, RDA/OMSA May 22, 2018

If you don’t take good care of your teeth, it can lead to infection and degrade your health and quality of life, not to mention your breath. When you have a low-grade infection in your mouth, you swallow plaque and other toxins. Dental infections are serious and come with an array of health problems, which is why it’s so important to manage them as quickly as possible.

Poor oral health

How infections work 

A dental infection such as gingivitis is the result of an external factor such as plaque. Both dental plaque and tartar are filled with lively bacteria, and if they aren’t removed from the teeth, they’ll start to irritate the gums and cause a chronic infection. When an infection is introduced into your blood stream, it delivers the infection to the kidneys and other organs.

Why dental infections occur

The two most common types of oral infections often go unnoticed because they’re either under the tooth (periapical) or in the gums or bone (periodontal). If teeth aren’t cleaned properly, they can harbor hidden infections. Some back teeth are difficult to reach, so are even harder to keep clean. Not getting these teeth fully cleaned can cause an infection that lasts for months.

The danger of untreated infections

Putting off dental treatment is a bad idea because over time, infections can cause damage and spread beyond the tooth. Nearby bone, sinuses and blood can all be affected.

Symptoms

Dental infections can cause bleeding gums, bad breath, a persistent low-grade fever, joint and muscle pain, swelling, depression, mood swings, bloating, and heartburn.

Treatment

A chronic dental infection won’t go away on its own, only a dentist can remove it. Infections can be treated by cleaning the surfaces of affected teeth and gums and draining any trapped infection. 

Avoiding infections

Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day will help you avoid dental infections. Think of dental visits as damage control. Let your dentist assess your mouth and provide insight to problems before they start.

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental visit, make an appointment today. Your health depends on it.