In today’s world many people think only of the cosmetic benefits of having nice white, straight teeth when they think of good dental health.   Even though our appearance is important and should not be overlooked, good dental health is much more than just having a winning smile.

In fact, poor dental health and untreated diseases of the mouth can have a significant impact on the quality of your life and the state of your health.   According to the Surgeon General, more than 75 percent of Americans are affected by some type of periodontal disease or gingivitis.   These infections of the gums cause oral and facial pain and can lead to tooth loss.

Even more distressing is that medical research has shown that the bacteria that causes infections and inflammation of the gums can dislodge and find its way into the bloodstream.   When this happens your arteries can become inflamed and greatly increase your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.   Many medical experts believe that gum disease is a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender and age.

Poor dental and oral health can lead to many other serious illnesses, including the obvious, oral cancer, and the less obvious, such as intestinal failure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other problems of the digestive process.

There is a proven link between your dental and oral health and the general state of your overall health.   Many diseases can be diagnosed in their early stages through an oral exam.   These diseases include diabetes, leukemia, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.

Dental illnesses also cost your business money.  Each year, poor dental and oral health results in 100 million lost work hours, 6.1 million days of bed disability and 12.7 million days of restricted activity.

Everyone should keep their mouth healthy by seeing a dentist at least twice a year; however, more than half of all Americans do not visit a dentist on a regular basis.  Regardless of the cost, it may be wise to put your money where your mouth is and make sure you and your family enjoy good dental and oral health.