person brushing teeth

The role of oral health in wellbeing

The state of the Australian population’s dental health is worrying. The latest Oral Health Tracker report highlights the fact that an alarming 90 per cent of Australian adults have symptoms of dental decay. This is not too surprising seen in the light of another disturbing trend – only half of the adult population admit to brushing their teeth twice daily.

Without following the well-recommended guidelines to caring for dental health, such as daily brushing (twice is nice) and flossing (at least once) and scheduling dental Coorparoo appointments with a qualified dentist, a patient cannot expect to achieve or maintain oral health for the long-term.

Why is good oral health such a desirable objective? First off, when the state of oral health is in equilibrium, there is a reduced likelihood of a person suffering from dental pain or discomfort. Regular dental visits offer the opportunity to tackle minor issues before they spearhead into major issues. But these are just the direct benefits of maintaining good oral health. There are extended benefits to physical health and psychosocial health to consider too.

Far-reaching consequences of protecting oral health

Yes, the benefits of establishing a good oral hygiene practice at home do not stop at keeping smiles happy and healthy, but work to achieve much more than this. Keeping up with one’s oral health has much wider implications that relate directly to the quality of life.

With good oral hygiene, there is less of a chance that bad oral bacteria can find a way to target vital organs like the heart and lungs. Oral hygiene obligations keep a lid on the presence of bad bacteria in the mouth, which can not only cause havoc in the mouth but in the bloodstream as well.

dental procedure

Bad oral bacteria has been linked to other medical conditions like the increased chance of developing diabetes (if gum disease is a concern), a stroke, infections, and cardiovascular disease.

Good dental health can help in avoiding complications in pregnancy. Oral health checks for pregnant women are critically important. Preterm birth and low birth weight are two serious pregnancy complications that can be a result of poor dental health, which is why pregnant women should prioritise those dental appointments.

Then there are the positive effects on mental wellbeing that make maintaining oral health worthwhile. The link between smiling and mood has been well documented. It is no stretch of the imagination to see smiling as a natural antidepressant considering the positive benefits this humble human behaviour triggers in the body.

The mental body benefits when the brain is stimulated (by working the facial muscles involved in smiling) to release more happy-feeling chemicals; serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.

Secondly, smiling benefits the body thanks to the increased production of white blood cells whose remit it is to help the body fight against infections and illness.

The above are all good reasons to take a proactive stance on oral health. Dental appointments should be the main event on any calendar, because so much depends on keeping oral health in top condition.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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