Ever wondered whether or not there is a connection between a healthy smile and your overall health? Well, you will be surprised to know the answer. A healthy smile impacts your overall health in several ways. This article helps you understand how maintaining a healthy smile can impact the different aspects of your overall health.
Digestive Health – A poor smile also means misaligned teeth. Misaligned or crooked teeth can affect the action of chewing and hence, in turn, can affect digestion also. Teeth straightening braces are one of the most effective ways to correct crooked teeth. Straight teeth not only improve the appearance of your smile but also help you chew correctly. Food when rightly chewed makes the further process of digestion easy.
Cardiovascular Health – Gum disease may cause chronic inflammation which is linked with several cardiovascular issues such as strokes, heart diseases and blockage in arteries. It is difficult to establish a solid link between oral health and heart diseases. But, there is strong evidence that suggests that maintaining good dental health can help maintain good overall health.
Infections – Poor oral health has also been known to cause infections in other parts of the body and health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis. According to experts, the mechanism of destruction of connective tissues in both rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease is similar.
Cancer and Dementia – Women, in particular, can reduce their risk of certain cancers by maintaining healthy gums and teeth. New research that studied data from 65,000 post-menopausal women in the age bracket of 54-86 found that those with a history of gum disease were 14% more likely to develop cancer. Of these, one in three women developed breast cancer while an increased risk of lung, gall bladder, esophageal and skin cancers. Besides, people who have healthy gums are 70% less prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease as compared to those who have suffered from gum disease over a long period of time.
Pregnancy – Healthy gums in pregnant women are around three times less likely to have a premature baby, thus reducing the risk of having a low weight at birth. Studies say that there is an estimated one-in-four chance that a pregnant woman with gum disease can give birth before 35 weeks. The reason being gum diseases are known to cause a rise in the levels of chemicals which induce labor.
Confidence – Gum diseases or decayed teeth are also accompanied by bad breath. This may make you uncomfortable and hesitant when speaking to people. Healthy teeth also mean no bad breath or stained teeth. This makes you more confident to speak and smile while interacting with anyone.
Emotional Status – Research has proven that smiling can immediately give you an emotional boost. This is because smiling prompts your brain to produce balancing neurochemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and neuropeptides. All of these neurochemicals function to regulate your mood and reduce pain. Dopamine specifically is known for triggering contentment and relaxation. Endorphins act as natural painkillers, serotonin helps generate feelings of happiness and neuropeptides encourage emotional processing which helps reduce stress. A smile may not completely replace medication but it can surely supplement the treatment for mood disorders, chronic pain, persistent tension or stress, and other such medical conditions.
A healthy smile does more than just improve your personality. It helps promote good overall health also. Hence, it is important that you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly for comprehensive dental checkups and cleanings.