The costs of dental neglect. Is our overall health linked to our oral health?

In case you did not notice until now, there is a strong connection between your oral health and your general health.

Your mouth is full of bacteria, which is kept under control by daily brushing and flossing. Without adequate oral hygiene, the level of bacteria can increase, causing tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems, sometimes with a major impact. It can also cause diabetes and heart disease.

Reading this article, you will find out more about how dental neglect can affect your mouth, teeth and your entire body. If you believe that avoiding visits to your dentist is a solution for saving money, you are totally wrong. This could be a short-term solution indeed, but on the long-term, this will result in a lot of costs (both health and money costs).

You may have heard about mouth-body connection. This means that if you neglect your mouth, your body will immediately feel it.

Let’s start with the oral problems caused by inappropriate dental care. We will concentrate then on the general health problems.
As it was already mentioned, a poor oral health may cause cavities and gum disease.

When it appears, gum disease manifests as gingivitis, or bleeding when you brush your teeth. This can develop into periodontitis, where the gum begins to pull away from the tooth, forming pockets of infection. This infection may lead to teeth loss. The most evident mouth-body association is between gum disease and heart disease. Specialists say that the more bacteria you have in your body, the more the heart will be affected.

It is also believed that there is a connection between poor oral health and diabetes.For people with diabetes, good dental hygiene could be key for managing blood glucose level.  This is because individuals with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease may increase the risk of diabetes.

What is for sure is that bacteria leads to a decrease in our immunity. This means our body is weakened and more likely to get infections.

Good behavior related to good oral health is formed during childhood. So parents must teach their kids that their oral health is very important, they must teach them to brush and floss twice  a day in order to avoid dental health problems. The next step is the visit to a dentist, in order for them to get familiarized with dental appointments.

A few years ago a person died from a toothache. Extreme neglect led to an abscess that spread to his brain and killed him. These are rare cases, but it may happen. So pay attention.

For those who skip regular dental visits, the long-term costs can be alarming. For example if you postpone a filling (which is obviously less expensive), this can result in the need of a root canal and a crown, or even an implant and a crown which will costs thousands of dollars. You may believe that a crown is only a crown. But this is not true. The costs depend on the quality of the material used. So you should pay attention to this, advise with your dentist and take the best decision.

To conclude, do your annual regular dental checkups, brush and floss twice a day, pay attention at what you eat. In case you need a dental appointment, do not hesitate to call us.

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/19/why-neglecting-teeth-seriously-bad-health
https://bda.org/childprotection/Responding/Pages/Managing-dental-neglect.aspx
https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/periodontal-disease-heart-health#2
https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/periodontal-disease#1
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320806.php
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/10/06/The-Hidden-Costs-of-Dental-Neglect
http://www.businessinsider.com/avoiding-the-dentist-could-end-up-costing-you-way-more-2011-10
Cost of Dental Care, Not Fear, Causes Many Americans To Neglect Their Teeth
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/how-poor-dental-care-can-affect-your-overall-health-0313