Skipping the dentist can put you at risk for issues such as cavities or gum disease, but did you know missing those regular check-ups can also put your overall health at risk?
Your oral health may contribute to the development of conditions such as:
- Heart disease
Research shows that endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart) typically occurs bacteria from another part of the body, such as the mouth, spreads through the blood stream and attaches to damaged areas in the heart.
In addition, studies suggest that clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Respiratory infections
A recent study warns that untreated gum disease may lead to infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. The study suggested that breathing in the bacteria from infected teeth was the cause of damage of the lungs.
Not only can poor oral care contribute to the development of conditions, but it can also add strain to preexisting conditions, such as diabetes. Diabetics may find that gum disease may make it harder to control blood sugar levels. In addition, diabetics are more susceptible to periodontal disease, so routine check-ups with a dentist are encouraged to help manage symptoms.
Moral of the story: do your best to visit the dentist at least once a year. But don’t forget- good oral care starts at home. The ADHA recommends:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.
VBA dental plans are administered and underwritten by TruAssure and are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks.