Most people want to have a nice smile, so they take care of their teeth. However, they rarely think about the positive impact practicing good dental hygiene can have on their lives. Looking after your teeth, throughout your life, brings a list of health benefits.

The ability to eat a healthy diet

Not having strong teeth limits what you can eat. Losing a tooth or two in your teens or twenties is not going to have a big impact, at least not immediately. However, if you continue to lose them, by the time you are in your thirties you could have big gaps in your mouth.

When that happens, eating nuts, seeds and meat becomes difficult. It is not pleasant trying to eat a steak when you have only a few back teeth left, so instead you end up eating a burger. This processed meat is easier to chew but is likely to contain more fat as well as chemicals and additives, so is not as good for you.

Without realising it, people with an incomplete set of teeth end up eating a less varied diet. Over the long term, this leads to deficits in important vitamins and minerals, which eventually begins to damage the body. The older you get the worse this situation becomes.

Of course, implants, bridges and false teeth are ways around this issue. The problem is that an awful lot of people do not like wearing dentures. Others cannot afford the procedures or are simply too scared to get the work done.

The danger of gum disease

When bacteria builds up along the gumline infection can set in and gum disease develops. Many patients just live with it. This is because most people simply do not realise the negative impact oral infections can have on their health.

Over time, the infection weakens the gum and it starts to pull back from the teeth. When that happens teeth become loose, and fall out.

This is bad enough, but for some it can be even more serious. Some people’s bodies overreact to the presence of the bacteria. This can cause inflammation throughout the body. In that situation, effective periodontal disease treatment becomes a matter of urgency.

The heart and brain connection

Recent studies show that gum disease can have a negative impact on heart health. People who have moderate or advanced gum infections are at greater risk of suffering from heart problems.

A few years ago, a team from the University of Central Lancashire, in England, found a bacterium that is typically associated with gum disease in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Research is now being done to evaluate whether there actually is a connection between gum disease and mental health.

The impact on confidence

Lastly, we look at the negative impact bad teeth has on emotional and, therefore, mental wellbeing. Numerous studies show that if you want to stay happy and avoid depression you need to smile and laugh regularly.

Often people with dental health issues avoid smiling or laughing as a way of hiding their bad teeth from others. This common habit is very bad for confidence and, in the long term, general well-being.

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