Although pretty much nobody likes going to the dentist’s office, we’re all aware of the necessity of doing so, and of keeping up good dental hygiene. Yet ask any adult whether they redouble their dental efforts in the weeks before they have an appointment out of guilt, and you’re sure to see a shame-faced nod or two. It’s normal; we can only focus on so many things at a time, and sometimes we just aren’t sure that we’ve been as dedicated as we should be with something like tooth-brushing. So below, we’re going to run through a few facts that should help you keep your focus.
There’s more than your teeth at risk if you don’t brush well
We all know of the health risks that can affect the teeth. Decay, abscesses, and toothache are no joke, and each by themselves is enough to make you reflexively reach for your toothbrush and then make an appointment with a local dentist’s office like Anoka dental. However, if you need a little refresher, consider the fact that infections under the teeth can spread and get as far as the brain, while bacteria from gum disease can travel all the way to and infect the heart. The consequences of both can be lethal.
Brushing is really only half the job
A good thorough brushing of the teeth will leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh, but a glance beneath the surface may bring to light some unwelcome news. It is argued that, if you leave it to brush and mouthwash, you could be missing up to 40% of the surface area of the teeth and allowing bacteria to thrive in hidden areas. This is why flossing is an essential part of a dental hygiene routine.
Your dentist can spot signs of other illnesses
As well as your teeth having an impact on the rest of the body, the same can be true in reverse – and it means there is every good reason to attend your dental appointments. Your dentist may notice tell-tale signs for a number of illnesses, some of them serious enough to need emergency intervention. If they see less saliva than they expect during a procedure, this may point to diabetes. If someone with otherwise good oral hygiene has inflamed gums, it can be a warning sign for heart issues. Dentists can also spot signs of cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other issues.
Bleeding gums might be “just one of those things,” but they might not
As kids, one of our early shocking experiences was likely to be looking in the sink when brushing our teeth and seeing blood. As time goes by, we come to accept it as a consequence of brushing too vigorously. But unless you’re brushing extremely vigorously every time, on purpose, then the blood should start to tail off. If it’s happening every time, there is a chance you’ve got gum disease – and you should definitely see a dentist to make sure, one way or the other.