When you visit your Saginaw dentist, you are most likely concerned about your oral health. But, did you know that maintaining your oral health can give you more than healthy teeth for life? Regular visits to your dentist help protect your overall health too. Your body’s health and your oral health have a strong connection. Here is a look at five ways your dentist helps protect more than your teeth.

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

People who have diabetes often have a hard time fighting off infections like gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can allow plaque to build up which can lead to gum disease. When it’s caught early, gum disease can be reversed. Since diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight infection, it’s imperative that diabetics maintain good oral health and visit their Saginaw dentist regularly.

Heart Disease and Dental Health

When you were a child, it was exciting to lose a tooth and it was followed by a visit from the tooth fairy. As an adult, losing a tooth is reason for concern. To dentists, a loose tooth can be indicative of other health issues such as heart disease. When gum disease becomes visible, the bacteria can pass through the bloodstream and to the heart. Dentists can identify problems such as these and provide treatment to prevent them from worsening. If you lose a tooth, make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Schau right away.

Your Oral Health and Pneumonia

As you breathe, air goes in through your mouth before reaching your lungs. If your mouth contains an unhealthy number of bad bacteria, they can easily find their way to the lungs. This can cause respiratory problems or pneumonia. The elderly are at more risk, which is why it’s imperative that they continue to take good care of their teeth, including their dentures. Pneumonia can be life-threatening in the elderly. To prevent pneumonia, you and your elderly loved ones should maintain good oral health habits and see your Saginaw dentist regularly.

Osteoporosis and Your Saginaw Dentist

When someone has osteoporosis, their bones become brittle as they age. Dr. Schau takes x-rays of your teeth and jaws as part of your routine visits. A dentist may notice early signs of osteoporosis by reading your mouth x-rays. Those with this bone disease may show signs of early loss of teeth or receding gum lines. If you are unaware that you have osteoporosis, your dentist may recommend following up with your primary care for more tests.

HIV/AIDs

For those living with HIV, complications from infections can be fatal. Even a minor infection can rapidly escalate because of a weakened immune system. Those diagnosed with HIV need to be more vigilant about their oral health and physical health. Failing to develop and maintain good oral hygiene habits can be at a higher risk of infections which can lead to a decline in their overall health. It is common for those who have HIV/AIDS often suffer from oral problems like painful mucosal lesions.

Visit Your Saginaw Dentist

Your dentist can help you have healthy teeth for life. They can also detect early signs of other health conditions. Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. Food, air, germs, and liquid enter your body through your mouth. Your oral health has a huge impact on your overall health. Call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Schau.

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