The Connection Between Preventive Dentistry and Overall Health

Looking after our overall health is as important as looking after our teeth. Typically, when we talk about overall health, many people will mistakenly think of just our physical health. But it includes other aspects of our well-being, like our dental health.  

The thing is many people are also unaware of the link between their oral health and overall well-being. Preventive dentistry plays a big role in keeping our teeth clean. Not only does it offer clean teeth, it also keeps our bodies healthy. 

Let’s take a look at how preventive dentistry and overall health are linked together.  


What is Preventive Dentistry? 

When we talk about preventive dentistry, this means a variety of oral health services that cleans and maintains your oral health. In other words, these treatments prevent dental issues before they arise. 

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are the most known treatments in this category. It also includes fluoride treatments, sealants, and patient education on proper brushing and flossing techniques. When you get any of these preventive dentistry services, you can reduce the risk of getting cavities, gum disease, and enamel wear. 

Because of that, preventive dentistry also plays a big role in our overall health, from diabetes management to immune system strength. 


The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health 


Oral Health and Chronic Diseases 

You might be surprised to learn how closely oral health is linked to chronic diseases, like diabetes. People with diabetes often have more trouble with gum disease, which can lead to pain, bad breath, tooth loss, and difficulty chewing. Since diabetes slows down healing, gum disease can get worse more quickly. 

High blood sugar levels can cause more plaque build-up, leading to periodontal disease. If gum disease isn’t treated, it can make it harder to manage blood sugar levels, creating a tough cycle to break. 

Gum Disease and Systemic Health 

Our mouths are not only an entryway to our favourite food, but also a habitat for good and bad bacteria. Because our gums are rich blood supply, bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream when our gums are infected. 

That’s why having gum disease is like walking around with an open wound in your mouth. This can lead to systemic issues as the bacteria travel to other parts of the body. 

Research has shown links between gum disease and several serious health conditions, including: 

Heart Disease 

The inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease. The bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cling to fatty deposits in the heart’s blood vessels. These will then lead to the formation of clots, which can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of heart attacks. 

It was even said that people with gum disease have three times the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.  

Respiratory Infections 

According to research, it was mentioned that infected gums can harbour bacteria that may be inhaled into the lungs. As mentioned, having inflamed gums is like walking around with an open wound in your mouth all the time.  This preoccupies your immune response meaning if the person is exposed to other bacteria or viruses (respiratory infections for example), the body is less able to deal with this.  This was more noticeable during the pandemic. Many people with poor gum health had far more serious reactions to COVID.  

Alzheimer’s Disease 

Emerging research suggests a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It shows that the bacteria involved in gum disease can travel to the brain through the bloodstream. Gum disease leaves increases the inflammatory mediators in your blood stream, which has been linked to an increased risk of Alzeimers Disease. 

The Spread of Dental Infections 

Untreated dental infections, like those from decayed teeth, can lead to serious problems. If you don’t take action in treating these infections, the infections can spread to other parts of your head. This can include your mouth, nose, eyes, and even your brain. 

And this is why preventive dentistry treatments are important to catch and fix issues early before they become bigger problems. 


Preventive Dentistry Services and Treatments 

Now that we already tackled the connection of preventive dentistry to overall health, here are some dental treatments that you can leverage to keep your teeth and body healthy.  

You can also expect Whitehorse Dental to offer these dental services to keep you healthy and happy. 


Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings 

Routine dental visits are a cornerstone of preventive dentistry. During these visits, dentists can identify early signs of dental problems and provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar build-up that regular brushing and flossing might miss. 

Patient Education and Home Care 

Preventive dentistry also involves educating patients on the correct way for them to maintain their teeth at home.  This leads to healthier teeth and far fewer dental problems in the future.  Our Whitehorse Dental professionals are great at teaching patients easy and achievable things they can do at home to make a real difference to their dental health. 

This includes proper brushing and interdental cleaning techniques, the importance of a balanced diet, and the role of fluoride toothpaste. 

Addressing Early Signs of Dental Issues 

Remember that catching dental problems early can help you and your dentist save time. With Whitehorse Dental, we are big on helping you keep your teeth for a long time. And when problems arise, we can provide minimally invasive treatments that prevent the need for more extensive procedures. 

This proactive approach not only saves you from discomfort and expense but also helps maintain overall health. 


Prioritising Preventive Dentistry for Better Health 

At Whitehorse Dental, our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care to ensure your smile remains healthy and beautiful. Take charge of your health by prioritising preventive dentistry

Call us at (03) 8838 8820 or visit our website to schedule your appointment. Let us help you achieve a healthier smile and a healthier life.