Teeth And Total Body Health

Aug 30, 2018
Dr. Ed Grubaugh

When you flash a grin, chances are you aren’t thinking about the science behind your smile. However, our smiles actually have a strong psychological link. You may not realize the impact it has on your life, but multiple studies have shown an attractive smile can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to other people. It may even make you appear more successful and confident! As the feature people first notice about and the one they most clearly remember, your smile is important to how you are perceived. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is important to not only your appearance, but to your oral health and overall body health as well.

Even if you haven’t always been as vigilant about your oral hygiene as you should be, realizing how your smile can affect your life can inspire you to take better care of your teeth and gums. There’s no age limit on adopting a new dental hygiene routine that will improve your smile and positively affect the rest of your body, too! Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your smile. Keep reading below to learn about the connection that exists between your dental health and your overall health. There’s more to it than meets the eye!

Beyond a straightened smile

It’s not unusual for people to mistakenly assume that orthodontic treatment is mainly cosmetic in nature, aligning the teeth to produce a perfect smile with no other discernible benefits. In reality, orthodontic treatment is functional in nature. The appliances we use, such as braces and clear aligners, offer both aesthetic and health benefits that can last a lifetime if you’re also properly caring for your teeth and gums.

The reverse is also true. When oral issues go untreated over a long period of time, it can lead to numerous health problems that can interrupt everyday activities like chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and even speech. Teeth and jaws that are misaligned also increase the risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Grubaugh Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of orthodontic treatments, from traditional and self-ligating braces to alternatives like Invisalign clear aligners. Treatment with these can help correct the issues above, as well as many other dental problems, resulting in a straighter smile and a mouth that is able to function to its fullest potential.

Dr. Grubaugh with a patient

The importance of teeth in the digestive process

Digestion might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to your teeth, but chewing is actually the very first step in the digestive process, and one of the most crucial parts of digestion. We often ignore proper chewing in favor of scarfing our food down, but it’s an important oral habit to cultivate as it is how our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest. This gives the intestines a chance to absorb nutrients effectively. If your food hasn’t been chewed thoroughly before swallowing, it won’t digest as well in your stomach, causing your body to expend extra energy in order to absorb all the nutrients. Misaligned teeth and jaws can make chewing and biting difficult, but this can be corrected through orthodontic treatment.

Keep bacteria at bay

Plaque is a sticky, naturally occurring film that contains bacteria. When this is allowed to build upon the teeth, it can eat away at the enamel. In turn, this may lead to cavities that form in between the teeth, which are harder to see and treat because they often go undiscovered until there are noticeable symptoms. Plaque that is left unchecked in your mouth can do a real number on the health of your gums, eventually causing gingivitis or even full-blown gum disease if left untreated over a long enough period of time. Symptoms associated with this can include inflammation, sensitive or bleeding gums, and loose or lost teeth.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to prevent this kind of damage. You can easily protect your smile by scheduling regular check-ups, and keeping your appointments with us. Because dentists are trained professionals, they know what to look for when it comes to things that patients are typically unable to see, such as cavities or the beginning stages of gum disease. When an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Grubaugh corrects the misalignments of your teeth and jaws, you’ll likely that you are better able to keep your teeth clean and healthy in every nook and cranny. Our office will work together with your dentist to ensure that your smile stays free of bacteria and plaque, even if you are in braces or undergoing other orthodontic treatment.

Help relieve any infection and inflammation

Some research has shown that there may be a possible association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts have suggested that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. When you practice a consistently good oral hygiene routine, and schedule regular dental visits, it will help reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This will go a long way towards keeping any inflammation and infection to a minimum. Eating a well-balanced diet can also play a positive role in these efforts!

You already you should avoid obvious things like candy and excessively starchy or sugary items to keep your teeth free of cavities, but there are also many foods you can eat that will actually improve the health of your teeth and gums! Crunchy vegetables and fruit will trigger the production of saliva, rebalancing the pH in your mouth. And when you eat fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery and apples, they massage the gums as you chew, increasing the blood flow and improving your body’s natural gum-protecting defenses.

Grubaugh staff talking with a family

Give the world your best smile with Grubaugh Orthodontics

You want your smile to be remembered for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones! Tooth decay and gum disease can result in unattractive teeth and bad breath, which can cause your self-esteem and self-image to take a serious hit. A healthy mouth that is free from gingivitis and cavities can contribute to a bigger, brighter smile, not to mention better health. It’s safe to say a healthier, more attractive smile can even offer you a better quality of life!

Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we create beautifully aligned, fully functional smiles that are customized just for you. Dr. Grubaugh and the rest of our skilled staff are dedicated to providing optimal orthodontic care and the most rewarding experience possible for every patient we see!  If you’re in Lansing, DeWitt, or any of the surrounding communities, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary exam. This is the perfect time to take the first step towards the healthy smile you deserve!

Dr. Grubaugh working with a patient