Dental services can yield numerous benefits -- not all of which seem so obvious at first glance. It's easy to understand the role dental care can play in preventing cavities, relieving oral pain, or keeping your pearly whites pearly white. But there are several other key health benefits you can enjoy by making regular use of a skilled dentist or orthodontist. Here are three ways your body benefits from such services.
1. Headache and Migraine Relief
You might expect a dental practitioner to have no trouble relieving a toothache or sore gums -- but you might do well to have this professional treat that nagging pain in your head as well. Many tension headaches actually begin as tension in the jaw due to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) misalignment. A painfully tense, misaligned jaw can even cause chronic migraine attacks. If you're tired of warding off these issues with pain-relieving drugs, ask your dentist to check your jaw alignment. you may benefit from procedures to correct your bite and/or massage and stress-relief recommendations to soothe your jaw muscles.
2. A Healthier Heart
Nobody likes the idea of bacteria-ridden gums -- but you probably relish the idea of permanent heart damage even less. Unfortunately, the former condition often offers the latter as an unwelcome bonus. The same bacteria that cause periodontal disease may migrate through the jaw into the bloodstream, where they then have direct access to all parts of the body. If they end up in the heart, they can cause a dangerous inflammation called endocarditis that leaves you with life-threatening heart valve damage. Dental services such as periodic deep cleaning can help you steer clear of periodontal disease, thus doing your heart a lifetime's worth of good.
3. Better Breathing
Do you suffer from a dry throat first thing or the morning or feel exhausted even after a full night's sleep? You may be one of the many sufferers of a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea commonly occurs when the airway at the back of the throat closes off intermittently -- hundreds of times per night, in severe cases. This condition not only wrecks your sleep quality; it's also been associated with complications ranging from chronic headaches and high blood pressure to diabetes and liver damage. If your sleep apnea is related to nighttime tooth grinding (bruxism), you may benefit from orthodontic services that correct an abnormal bite alignment.
Any problem that affects one part of the body has the potential to affect your overall health, wellness, and quality of life -- including an untreated dental problem. Schedule those regular checkups and cleanings, and ask a dentist like David W Hyten DMD to look at any health issues that might be originating in your mouth.