Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is not only important for oral health but can also have an impact on overall health, including brain health.
Below are a few ways healthy teeth and gums can lead to better brain health:
Reducing inflammation — Poor oral health can cause inflammation in the gums, which can lead to systemic inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health issues, including cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. This is one reason scheduling and keeping those twice/year cleanings is important.
Reducing infection — Oral infections such as gum disease (periodontitis) can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, including the brain. This can cause inflammation and damage to brain cells, which can increase the risk of cognitive impairment. Periodontal disease is also linked to heart disease, pregnancy issues, higher blood glucose levels, and more.
Improved nutrition —Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can also help ensure that you are able to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This can provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Missing teeth, TMJ, natural wear and tear, and a host of other issues can cause people not to chew their food as well and can lead to a decline in overall health. At The Houston Dentists, we can help with these and other issues to help people chew better.
Improved sleep — Many people grind or clench their teeth while sleeping, which is called sleep bruxism. Sleep bruxism may be associated with an underlying sleep breathing disorder, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have a negative impact on brain health, overall well-being, and oral health. Those eight to nine hours of restful sleep are important for cognitive function, memory, and more. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention that grinding/clenching one’s teeth can lead to tooth damage, decay, chipping, gum disease, TMJ, headaches, facial pain, and more.
By reducing oral inflammations and infections, improving nutrition, and promoting good sleep habits, you will help keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best. The Houston Dentists can help you on your path to better brain and overall health.