Normally, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as brushing your teeth and flossing daily, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could cause oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The Academy of General Dentistry states that there is a significant relationship between gum disease and other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. Good oral health can actually prevent other diseases.
Dentists and medical professionals agree that the vast majority of systemic diseases, that is, those affecting several organs or the entire body, manifest in the mouth. Proper tooth care requires more than brushing and flossing in the morning and evening. If this were all it takes to keep your teeth in tip-top shape, you would hardly ever need to go to the dentist. However, good oral health requires more attention than that.
Many people will wait until a problem occurs, such as tooth pain or bleeding gums, to go to the dentist. To keep your gums and teeth truly healthy and avoid other oral health problems, regular visits to the dentist are essential. Poor dental health is also linked to a number of health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease. Routine dental checkups are about comprehensive health care, not just your teeth.