How Orthodontics and Oral Hygiene Impact Your Overall Health

Orthodontic treatment can certainly improve the alignment and appearance of teeth, which can boost self-esteem and confidence. But it's not just about having a bright and beautiful smile; your oral health can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of your body. Here are three ways in which oral health might impact you:

  1. Heart Health and infections: Poor oral health, particularly gum disease (periodontitis), has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke. The mouth is a gateway for many infections. Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of infections entering the bloodstream, which can affect various organs and systems in the body. Inflammation in the mouth may contribute to inflammation throughout the body, which can affect the heart. Chronic inflammation in the gums can contribute to systemic inflammation, which is associated with a range of diseases, including cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Orthodontic treatment can make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and health by aligning the teeth and jaws making it easier to clean between them.
  2. Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women with gum disease may be at a higher risk for complications such as premature birth and low birth weight. The inflammation from gum disease could potentially trigger an inflammatory response elsewhere in the body.
  3. Digestive Disorders: Oral health issues can affect your ability to chew food properly, leading to digestive problems. Properly aligned teeth are essential for effective biting and chewing. Orthodontic treatment can correct issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites, which can affect a person's ability to eat comfortably and speak clearly.

It's crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular dental check-ups and cleanings, to prevent oral health problems. The mouth is not isolated from the rest of the body, and taking care of your oral health is an integral part of maintaining good overall health. So, while the cosmetic aspect of orthodontics is undoubtedly important and often the primary reason people seek treatment, it's important to recognize that orthodontics can have a broader impact on your health. Many orthodontic cases involve a combination of cosmetic and functional considerations. It's essential to consult with an orthodontist to determine the specific benefits and goals of treatment for your individual needs.

For more information about orthodontic services, or to speak with one of our board-certified specialists contact us online or call 302-678-3000.