Dental health is often overlooked as part of preventive healthcare, but good dental health has a proven relationship to good physical health. In fact, people with healthy teeth and gums are less likely to suffer from heart disease and digestive disorders than those who have gingivitis and caries (cavities). This is partly because bacteria in the mouth can spread to other areas of the body causing infection.
What Is the Relationship Between Dental Health and Physical Health?
People with good dental health generally have better eating habits than those with dental problems. High consumption of sugar causes bacterial growth in the mouth which leads to gum disease and cavities. Brushing teeth and using antiseptic mouth rinses alleviates some of the bacterial growth but the best solution is to consume lower amounts of sugar in the first place. High consumption of sugar in the diet is also related to other health conditions like obesity and diabetes type II. A healthy diet that promotes good dental health also promotes good physical health.
Why People Ignore Warning Signs
People often cite fear of the dentist as a reason for not having proper dental care. Instead of making an appointment with a dentist at the first twinge of pain, they take an aspirin and hope it will go away. In fact, by postponing the dental visit, they increase the chances of having to undergo more invasive and painful dental procedures. New dental technologies and anesthetics make dental visits more comfortable and early treatment of problems can avoid much of the pain that patients fear. Dental treatment is expensive and patients without dental insurance may fear the cost.
Comprehensive dental insurance is fairly inexpensive and some healthcare plans offer dental insurance as an additional coverage. Most insurance covers at least one dental checkup with x-rays per year and preventive treatments like teeth cleaning. Co-payments range between 20% and 50% depending on the insurance plan and the type of treatment required. Higher co-payments are often required for crowns and bridgework that become necessary because patients have neglected regular dental care. Many dental insurance plans pay the full cost of routine checkups and cleanings.
Good dental hygiene is important to the health of the entire body. Parents should begin practicing dental hygiene with their children before their first baby teeth grow in. Contraire to popular belief, the health of baby teeth can impact the health of permanent teeth so it is important for young children to be taught how to care for their teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day can prevent many common dental problems in children and adults. Additionally, regular dental checkups can uncover potential problems and the dentist can take steps to prevent the problems from worsening.
Caring for the teeth and gums is as important as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Fear of the dentist is not a good excuse to ignore a potentially serious health problem. It is possible to find inexpensive comprehensive dental insurance to cover the cost of dental treatment. Free quotes can help consumers compare prices and find the best dental coverage at the lowest price.