If you need another reason to keep up with your oral health, this may be it. According to a recent study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, treating gum diseases may reduce heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
The study researched the oral heath records of over 300,000 people with one of the following five conditions: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy. Based on four years of research, the study team found that those who had their gum disease treated also had overall lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations, as compared to those who had no treatment. The researchers attribute this association to inflammation of the gums, which was linked to worsening other chronic health problems.
This finding serves as another reminder of the importance of taking care of oral health issues now in order to prevent both future orthodontic issues and other health ailments.
Keep these three tips in mind for optimal orthodontic health:
- Cut back on acidic foods and drinks: Acid erodes tooth enamel, which can lead to increased sensitivity and tooth decay. Once adult teeth grow in, there are no real, natural replacements. Be sure to brush after eating any types of acidic food or drink.
- It's more than your mouth: The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that poor oral health can affect other areas of life such as self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.
- Make the appointment: Schedule regular checkups with an orthodontist to ensure no major changes are going on with your jaw, gums or teeth alignment that can impact your overall health. These appointments can also help decide future courses of action for treatment.