The Importance of Oral Health
For some reason, a large number of people consider “dental health” to be completely separate from overall health.
This is especially true in the United States, but it’s also true in many other countries. Insurance companies charge differently for dental care, and people often ignore it until they have dental problems. This is unfortunate because oral health is part of overall health.
Good oral hygiene does have a wide range of overall health effects that can’t really be ignored. While some people may think they can skip brushing their teeth, flossing and using mouthwash, all three are quite essential for keeping one’s teeth and body in decent shape. The primary purpose of these activities is to ensure that one’s teeth are not only attractive but also useful for chewing food. A poorly tended mouth tends to lose teeth after a while, whether from gingivitis weakening the gums until teeth simply fall out from regular usage or rotting away as cavities expand until the tooth is essentially destroyed.
While being unable to chew solid foods is scary enough for most people, the after effects are a downward spiral. Having to eat non-solid foods is hard on the human stomach and even harder on a person’s grocery budget. Non-solid foods are rarely as satisfying as solid foods, calling for more food to keep the eater full. This causes an increased intake of calories, typically beyond a person’s level of activity. The strain on one’s budget and waistline aside, being unable to chew food is a long-term threat to the body.
The more immediate threat though is the potential pain of teeth falling out and decaying in a person’s mouth.
Pain in the teeth is some of the greatest pain imaginable, as anyone who’s had their wisdom teeth removed can attest to. Living with that pain can cripple even a determined person, particularly if the problem is allowed to fester. Taking painkillers for these pains is an escalating struggle if one doesn’t change their hygiene habits quickly. Increasing amounts of painkillers are not only another strain on one’s budget since the painkillers geared towards tooth pain generally tend to be prescription only, but also tend to leave the user in a less than alert state, sometimes slipping into sleep when things slow down or being weak and exhausted even when adrenaline should be pumping.
The psychological effects of terrible dental hygiene also increase as the mouth is continually neglected. Missing teeth are a primal human fear and actually losing them can be terrifying. On top of all that, foul breath and obviously decaying teeth create an unpleasant appearance of the teeth, making it difficult to get as much out of human interaction. Without this sort of normal level of interaction, human beings tend to lose sight of reality, which is never a good thing for the psychological health of a human.