Can Cleaning Teeth Keep You Healthy?

woman's clean smileA lot of what goes on in your mouth affects more than the confines of your teeth and gums. A toothache isn’t always confined to the tooth, jaw pain often translates into chronic headaches, and oral bacteria aren’t fond of respecting your mouth’s boundaries. Given the connections between your oral health and your physical wellbeing, it may come as no surprise that keeping your smile clean can also have a positive impact on your systemic health. By keeping the bacteria in your mouth under control, regular teeth cleaning appointments can help you prevent the circumstances that place your mouth and body at risk.

Your Teeth Cleaning Visit

Your toothbrush and floss (and your daily attention) are essential to cleaning plaque from your teeth on a daily basis. Made from masses of mouth germs, dental plaque sticks to your teeth and along your gum line while protecting bacteria from saliva and water. If you miss even a small spot of plaque, it will calcify (harden) into tartar, which is too tough for your brush’s bristles to budge. During a professional teeth cleaning, Dr. Wong or one of our experienced hygienists will thoroughly remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth’s surfaces, including hard-to-reach spots between your teeth and just underneath your gum line.

Intro to Oral Bacteria

Why is plaque such a threat to your mouth’s harmony? Sure, its sticky presence is annoying, but the substance produced by the bacteria within plaque pose a direct threat to the integrity of your teeth and gums. For instance, Streptococcus mutans convert sugar into acid that destroys your teeth’s protective enamel. Porphyromonas gingivalis, a known culprit in gum disease formation, fools your immune system into attacking your gum tissue with rampant inflammation. Some germs, such as Streptococcus gordonii, aren’t harmful to your teeth and gums, but can be devastating if allowed into your bloodstream.

Oral-Systemic Theories

The oral-systemic connection describes the relationship between your oral and physical health. The inflammation associated with P. gingivalis infection can notably increase your risk for other chronic inflammatory conditions, including heart disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, and dementia. If S. gordonii enters your bloodstream, it can produce a molecule that allows it to hide as an enzyme that happens to incite blood clotting. The enzyme activates your platelets, which cluster around the germs and protect them from your immune system, and the uncontrolled blood-clotting can become a significant factor in heart disease and failure. Controlling your mouth’s bacteria involves more than keeping your mouth clean; it can also help protect you from more pervasive health risks.

About Your Gary, IN Dentist:

As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent cosmetic, preventive, and restorative dentistry to the community that raised him. To schedule your family’s next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.