3 Ways Tooth Decay Can Affect Your Overall Health
Tooth decay and cavities are among the most common dental issues in the world today. It can affect anyone- from young children to grown adults. And the thing about these dental problems is that they don’t easily go away. If you let your teeth be left untreated, chances are, you’re subjecting them to more damage, and before you know it, you’ll be faced with a more serious dental issue.
Moreover, while the symptoms and manifestations of tooth decay are typically confined in your mouth, studies show that it may have an impact on your body and overall health as well.
That said, here are some ways how tooth decay can affect your overall health and well-being.
- It Can Infect Healthy Teeth Surrounding It
Tooth decay usually starts with the slow buildup of plaque and tartar, which damages the outer layer of your teeth, forming a cavity in the process. Without observing proper dental hygiene, bacteria can easily grow and live within a cavity. If left unattended, the surrounding healthy teeth can also get affected.
The symptoms of tooth decay come in various forms- from feeling a bit of pain when chewing food to experiencing sensitive feelings on your teeth to the visible presence of cavities in your teeth. When this happens, you should consider paying your dentist a visit.
Seeking professional advice from dental clinics such as Grove City Dental or any clinics within your local area can be a good start to address your tooth decay problems. Aside from giving you a full assessment of your oral health, a dentist can also discuss with you the treatment that can best take care of your dental problem.
- It Can Cause Other Health Issues
Cavities are so common that they’re often ignored. But, tooth decay, when not immediately and properly taken care of, may increase your risk of developing other health concerns.
That said, here are some health conditions affiliated with poor oral health.
Some studies suggest that poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of dementia. Gingivitis or gum inflammation produced by bacteria is believed to have the ability to damage brain cells, which may result in memory loss.
- Cardiovascular Disease
Some studies also suggest that poor oral health can risk bacterial infection which may enter and travel within the bloodstream. Once this happens, the artery walls and heart valves might get affected, which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Infections of the Respiratory System
When the bacteria travels from the mouth down to the lungs, it can lead and trigger respiratory tract infections. Bacteria from the mouth can cause pneumonia, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.)
- It Can Affect Your Mental Well-Being
Aside from physical health, poor oral health and condition can also impact your mental well-being. People who have dental concerns often feel unconfident about carrying and presenting themselves. In some cases, they feel self-conscious, affecting their self-esteem in the process. They tend to smile less and have difficulties in forming connections- both in their professional and social lives.
A healthy and confident smile can certainly go a long way. It can open up opportunities for you while boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
While there are various dental treatments available, it’d be good to note that prevention is still the best cure. By practicing good oral hygiene, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing oral problems.
Aside from regularly brushing your teeth and flossing, what you eat may also affect your oral health. Eating healthy and skipping sugary food and drinks are believed to be beneficial for your teeth and gums. When remnants from your sugary snack get left on your teeth, they can break down the enamel of your teeth, which can then lead to cavities.
Additionally, instead of going for sugary or caffeinated drinks, water can be your best friend. Drinking a lot of water can help wash away the food particles in your mouth, which can help prevent plaque buildup.
Treatment for Tooth Decay
Suffering tooth decay can be stressful and frustrating, but help and relief are possible. There are various treatments and medications that can help address your dental problem. However, it’s important to understand that the severity of your tooth’s cavity can often define the treatment needed to address the problem.
That said, it’s best to consult your dentist to know which treatment will work best for you.
Here are some of the common treatments for tooth decay.
Fillings are most commonly done when the tooth decay or cavity has progressed beyond the early stage.
After removing the decaying portion of the tooth, fillings are applied. Materials used in filling include porcelain, amalgam, gold, or composite.
Dentists usually recommend this treatment when a tooth’s decaying enamel is pretty much gone. They’ll remove the injured area and replace it with porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a metal crown.
- Root canal
When the pulp or the soft center of a tooth is infected, a root canal may be needed. Instead of extracting a damaged or infected tooth, your dentist will remove the infected pulp, to preserve the rest of the affected tooth. After removing the damaged pulp, the insides of your tooth will be cleaned and then sealed.
- Tooth Extraction
When your tooth becomes too damaged beyond repair, even with the help of a crown or filling, your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Although having a tooth extracted can cause your other teeth to shift. That said, you can consider replacing the extracted tooth with a dental bridge.
Our teeth are an essential part of our bodies and therefore, must be taken care of properly. Not only can they help us eat, allowing us to sustain our bodies with much-needed nutrients, but healthy teeth could also mean good and healthy well-being.
A good oral health can not only reduce the risk of developing other health concerns but can also help boost our self-esteem, improving our overall well-being in the process.