It is recommended that you visit the dentist once every six months or, at the very least, once a year. Adhering to this schedule is less painstaking when you are younger and at the mercy of your parent’s schedule. As a child and adolescent, your parents create your schedule for you, prioritizing routine medical and dental exams; as you get older, it becomes more difficult to maintain this schedule as you begin to take on more responsibilities and activities.
Instead of visiting your dentist bi-annually or annually, it becomes more infrequent, with every dentist visit being separated by years rather than months. This is problematic because you aren’t just compromising your oral health. There is a strong relationship between oral health and your overall health. Not only does good oral hygiene work to keep your gums and teeth healthy, it also thwarts preventable health complications like heart disease.
Just like oral health can work to sustain your health, it can also be an indicator that is used to measure your quality of health. For example, exceptional oral health can predict that you are most likely a healthy individual, whereas the reverse is true: poor oral health often means that you are probably experiencing other medical problems, whether you are conscious of it or not.
Regular oral exams are not only important in prolonging a healthy smile, they can help to reduce medical emergencies. Here are the most common medical issues you risk when you don’t take the steps to properly care for your teeth and gums:
If you develop gum disease, you are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease. When you have a moderate to severe level of gum disease, dangerous bacteria that lives in your mouth could enter into your bloodstream, causing inflammation of your heart’s blood vessels, which is what causes heart attacks.
High Blood Sugar
If you are diabetic, you are more susceptible to infections and health complications. Diabetics are more prone to gum disease, which becomes more difficult for them to fight off because their immune systems are not as strong. Gum disease has been proven to make blood sugar levels harder to control, which is a very dangerous side effect for everyone, especially those suffering from diabetes.
According to the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease can also be a factor for various respiratory infections that can develop into something as serious as pneumonia. Similar to heart disease, harmful bacteria can enter into your lungs through inhalation, which will cause your airways to become inflamed, making breathing more rigorous and labored.