Surprising Ways Your Teeth are Linked to Your Health

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If you think about your teeth, you likely feel about them esthetically: how do they look? Are they straight enough? White enough? Will the second cup of coffee cause them to stain? While it is essential to keep tabs on the appearance of your smile it’s the first impression you put forward to the world, after all your teeth play a much more significant role in your overall health than you might have previously thought.

Current research is exploring all the fascinating ways in which the condition of your pearly whites is intimately linked to the functioning of your overall body: here are some of the most surprising connections!

Teeth are crucial to your digestion

Though it may seem obvious, few of us ever consider how important teeth are to the digestion process. Different teeth play different roles in masticating (breaking down) food: each tooth is shaped specifically for a specific function in this respect. Should one of your teeth wear down or break, its food processing function is not being filled, leading to indigestion or other stomach upsets!

Bacteria in your mouth mirror bacteria in your body

We tend not to think of our mouths as germy places, but the bacteria in and around our teeth are hugely important and a great indicator of what’s going on deeper inside. If harmful bacteria are building upon the teeth, it could be an indicator of cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, or even pneumonia!

Recent studies have also shown links between gum disease or other oral symptoms and countless other chronic illnesses, including diabetes or HIV. It has also been shown that pregnant women who have healthy teeth and gums and receive regular dental care are less likely to experience birth complications or experience premature births. 

By protecting all those bacteria in your mouth, you’re also guarding against infection by disease-causing microorganisms that can breed on unhealthy teeth. Diseases such as hepatitis A and glandular fever (also known as mono or the kissing disease), for example, are orally transmitted.

Your teeth are connected to your sleep

Recent research shows that your teeth indicate your likelihood of having several sleeping problems. Most notably, sleep apnea is linked to tooth-grinding, which many do unconsciously at night. Rather than having to attend a sleep clinic or strap on a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, going to your local dentist in Fitzroy should be your first step when addressing sleep issues. Dental professionals will be able to officially diagnose you and provide a range of solutions that are less invasive than the traditional sleep apnea kit.

Too often ignore our teeth or overlook them as merely esthetic objects essential to our smile. Increasingly, however, science is demonstrating that there are many links between the health of our teeth and the health of our overall bodies. As more of these surprising links are discovered, it is worth keeping on top of your teeth to stay your healthiest self.

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