The True Beauty of a Great Smile / The health benefits of taking care of your teeth


The True Beauty of a Great Smile

Posted by Mark Hosko, MD in Health Information 21 Aug 2013

The importance of having a strong, healthy set of teeth cannot be understated.  Teeth are vital in consuming proper amounts of nutritious foods, and the health of our teeth and mouth also has a profound effect on the health of our entire body.


While the phrase “bad teeth” may bring to mind thoughts of pain and missing teeth, the term actually covers a wide range of tooth problems.  These problems include cavities, abscess, infection, wisdom tooth impaction, periodontitis, and temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).  All of these tooth problems may lead to more serious and complicated ailments if left unchecked.


One of the most serious areas of the body that can be affected by infections in the teeth is the cardiovascular system. Bacteria may enter the bloodstream through an opening in a tooth and proceed to the heart, infecting the areas of the heart lining that have been injured previously.  This disease, called sub-acute bacterial endocarditis, is a severe infection and can be fatal in some cases.


Periodontal disease may result in other cardiovascular problems such as strokes, as well as precipitating low birth-weight babies.  Bacteria’s spreading into the bloodstream is in and of itself a specific illness called septicemia, which may affect numerous organs in the body and could also lead to death if left untreated.


Portland Urgent Care’s compassionate care staff encourages healthy brushing and flossing habits in our patients, but even the healthiest mouth may suffer from a fractured or cracked tooth.  It is important to seek medical help for any injuries or signs of infection.

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