Edmonton Smiles: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings

Maintaining a healthy smile goes far beyond aesthetics, especially in Edmonton, where the focus on overall well-being is paramount. Regular dental cleanings, often underestimated, play a pivotal role in not only maintaining oral health but also in enhancing your overall health. Here are five ways how regular dental cleanings can contribute to a healthier you.

Lowering the Risk of Heart Disease

In Edmonton’s health-conscious community, heart health is a major concern. Regular dental cleanings help reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown a correlation between oral bacteria, particularly those involved in the development of periodontal disease, and heart conditions. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the buildup of plaque in arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart disease. By keeping your teeth clean, you’re not just protecting your smile; you’re safeguarding your heart.

Reduction of Oral Bacteria:

Oral bacteria are natural inhabitants of the mouth. However, if not properly managed through regular cleanings, these bacteria can increase and cause gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. When gums are infected, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through gum tissues.

Inflammation and Arterial Plaque:

Once in the bloodstream, these bacteria and the inflammatory substances they produce can travel to other parts of the body. In the case of heart disease, these bacteria contribute to the inflammation and narrowing of arterial walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a major risk factor for heart diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, as it can lead to blockages in the blood flow to the heart and brain.

Aggravation of Existing Heart Conditions:

For individuals with pre-existing heart conditions, such as heart valve problems, the presence of oral bacteria in the bloodstream can lead to a serious condition known as infective endocarditis. This condition results when bacteria from the mouth adhere to damaged heart valves, causing severe inflammation and damage.

Impact on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol:

Recent studies have also suggested a link between periodontal disease and higher blood pressure, as well as an impact on the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. Additionally, there is emerging evidence that oral health might be linked to cholesterol levels, although this area needs more research.

Preventing Diabetes or Aiding in Its Management

Diabetes and oral health are intricately linked. People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, and in turn, severe gum disease can affect blood sugar control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. This two-way relationship highlights the importance of regular dental cleanings in both preventing diabetes and aiding in its management.

For individuals at risk of diabetes, maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can play a preventive role. Bacteria from gum diseases can enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation and insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. By reducing the bacterial load and inflammation in the mouth, dental cleanings help mitigate one of the risk factors for developing diabetes.

For those already managing diabetes, the benefits are twofold. Firstly, since diabetes compromises the immune system, making it harder to fight infections, regular dental cleanings reduce the likelihood of oral infections, which can be particularly problematic for diabetic patients. Secondly, controlling gum disease helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Research has shown that treating gum disease can lead to a significant decrease in the need for insulin in diabetic patients.

In essence, regular dental cleanings are a crucial component in the prevention and management of diabetes. They help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and play a pivotal role in the effective management of the condition, emphasizing the interconnectedness of oral health and overall systemic health. Learn more about dental filling and their benefits.

Enhancing Respiratory Health

Edmonton’s varying climate conditions can already be a challenge for respiratory health. What many don’t realize is that poor oral health can exacerbate respiratory issues. The bacteria from infected teeth and swollen gums can be breathed into the lungs or travel there through the bloodstream, potentially leading to respiratory infections, pneumonia, or bronchitis. Regular dental cleanings help reduce the presence of these harmful bacteria in your mouth, thus protecting your lungs and keeping your breaths cleaner and healthier. 

Boosting Mental Health

In a city as bustling as Edmonton, mental health is a growing focus. The confidence derived from a clean, healthy smile is immense. Regular dental cleanings not only keep your teeth looking good but also contribute to a positive self-image and confidence. Furthermore, emerging research suggests a link between oral inflammation and mental health issues like anxiety and depression. By maintaining oral health through regular cleanings, you’re also taking a step towards supporting your mental well-being. 

Early Detection of Potential Health Issues

A significant benefit of regular dental cleanings in Edmonton is the early detection of potential health issues. Dentists don’t just look for cavities or gum disease; they can also spot signs of more serious conditions like oral cancer, vitamin deficiencies, or osteoporosis during a routine check-up. Early detection means earlier intervention, which can be key in managing and treating various conditions.