Teeth are much more than just something you use for eating. Whenever you talk or even just smile, you are using your teeth. It makes sense that something this important is vital to your health and mood. When your teeth are healthy, you stand a better chance at being healthy and happy overall. But the reverse is also true. If your teeth are unhealthy, you are much more likely to be unhealthy and unhappy as a whole. If you don’t take care of your teeth, they will have a seriously bad impact on your life.
Impacting Your Health And Mood
But hey, they’re just teeth! Get a cavity, get a dental filling, and you’re all done, right? If you’re lucky, yes. But there are several important ways your teeth can affect your health and your mood.
- Gum disease: There are several reasons you should be brushing and flossing daily, as well as visiting our Port Charlotte, FL dental office twice a year for cleanings and exams. Sure, you want to keep your teeth clean so you don’t get any cavities. But the same harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay can irritate your gums and cause gingivitis. If left untreated, the bacteria can infect the gums. This is called periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis can make your gums tender and even bleed, and ultimately can cause your teeth to fall out. How happy will you be if you’re bleeding from the mouth and losing your teeth?
- Endocarditis: This is a serious condition where bacteria infect the inner lining and valves of your heart. This can lead to strokes, organ damage, infection spreading to other parts of your body, and even heart attacks. While there are several ways you can get endocarditis, it’s possible that bacteria infecting your gums can get into your bloodstream and thereby take root inside your heart.
- Heart disease: As with endocarditis, there are studies that suggest bacteria that have been left alone in your mouth for too long can lead to heart disease, strokes, and even clogged arteries.
- Malnutrition: If your teeth hurt when chewing, or if you are missing teeth, eating the foods you should be eating can be difficult or even too painful to tolerate. For example, healthy foods like carrots and similar crunchy vegetables need a lot of chewing power to grind up so you can swallow them, something really hard to do if it hurts each time you bite down. Plus, don’t discount the impact of comfort foods. We all need a little pick-me-up now and then. Imagine going without ice cream because the cold hurts your teeth, or skipping coffee because it’s too hot.
- Diabetes mellitus: More studies show a link between type 2 diabetes and poor dental health, especially with that gum disease problem again. And because your teeth are needed to chew up foods, painful or sensitive teeth can force you to eat soft foods full of carbohydrates and sugars, both of which can elevate your blood sugar and put you at a higher risk for developing diabetes.
- TMJ pain: The muscle that connects your jaw to your skull is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ controls how you talk, eat, and open or close your mouth in general. If you grind your teeth at night (a condition called bruxism), this can put extra stress on the TMJ and cause pain or even lockjaw.
- Low self-esteem: You know how a beautiful smile can light up a room, right? How people tend to treat you nicely and more respectfully if your smile is healthy and bright? Now imagine having a smile you hate. Fearing how people react to a dull, ugly smile can sap your self-esteem and confidence, making it harder to meet new people or enjoy social situations.
- Depression: Chronic pain has an obvious negative effect on your mood. If you’re uncomfortable most of the time, you’re going to be on edge and depressed. That’s what can happen when you have a toothache. Like many problems, a toothache will rarely disappear on its own. It’s most likely caused by either tooth decay or an infection inside the tooth. Neither will go away without specific dental treatments, leaving you with depression.
There are many treatments available that can take care of these problems. For example, dental implants can replace missing teeth, scaling and root planing can manage gum disease, and cosmetic dentistry can make your smile beautiful again. But none of these is possible without calling us first at 941-625-7877. Our team will give your teeth the full exam they need, and then we will discuss all the relevant treatments to help get you back on the road to health and wellness.