At your last checkup, your doctor gave you a clean bill of health, but would you consider yourself healthy? Maybe you do your best to exercise during the week, you’ve been cutting back the alcohol, sugar, and whatever else is unhealthy these days, but who knows. A quick symptom search on Google could probably bring up a whole list of diseases you may or may not have. Overall health seems like such a difficult thing to gauge. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of road map by which to judge how you’re doing? As it turns out, you do: Your teeth.

Examining your oral health can be a great way to get a better understanding of your overall health, as well. Your teeth can indicate whether your at risk of certain diseases, and even if you’re suffering from anxiety!

A young womans feet resting on the dash of a car while a roadmap rests on her lap. While these friends are on a trip, others are using a roadmap to better health.

Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

Recently published in Science Advances, a research study examined the brain tissue of deceased people with Alzheimer’s disease. What they found in the tissue were several strains of bacteria, one of them being Porphyromonas Gingivalis, that are pathogens responsible for gum disease. Other research studies have concluded a connection between the bacteria responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and gum disease. Although there has yet to be research that has explained this connection, several others have confirmed that gum disease highetens your risk of Alzheimer’s, as well as other complications like other forms of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.

Oral health complications like gum disease create chronic inflammation that negatively affects your health, not just your teeth. So if you’ve been experiencing symptoms like bad breath, red, swollen gums, or loose teeth, it’s time to schedule that dentist appointment.

Do You Have Anxiety?

A simple dental checkup can tell you many things about your overall health, but it can also inform you of your mental health, as well. Our teeth have natural ridges and places of wear from our diet. If your dentist notices that one side is more worn than another, though, there’s a good chance you have bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding. Although there isn’t a “cause” of bruxism, most agree that it is a symptom of anxiety or stress. Because it can eventually damage your teeth, your dentist can offer a mouth guard to protect your mouth.

How’s Your Diet?

Tooth decay and gum disease aren’t just a sign of poor oral hygiene, they can also be a sign of poor diet. In general, tooth decay occurs when we’ve been eating an overabundance of sugar and simple carbs. This creates a bacterial imbalance within our mouths, making it easier for plaque to form. Eating foods high in sugar, can also put your cardiovascular system at risk. According to the American Heart Association, it’s recommended to not eat more than 25g per day, which is less than one soda.

If you’re wondering about the state of your health, then consider scheduling your dentist appointment today!

If you would like to learn more about what makes Dr. Morrell your best choice for a general dentist in Anchorage, please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment at Denali Dental Care.