Most of us know the basics of good dental care: brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups to have our teeth cleaned and examined. You know that taking care of your teeth will leave you with a bright, attractive smile. But a great smile is not the only benefit we receive from teeth cleanings at your Atlanta dentist. There are several benefits that affect your overall health.

Heart Disease

Proper thorough cleanings help prevent bacteria from developing in the mouth, which, left unchecked, can spread through the bloodstream and possibly contribute to an infection of the inner lining of the heart called endocarditis. Researchers also believe that there may be a link between inflammations or infections caused by oral bacteria and heart disease and strokes.

Diabetes

Diabetes patients tend to have a reduced resistance to infection. Regular dental cleanings and good dental hygiene habits reduce the instances of gum disease. Studies have found that patients who exhibit signs of gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood-sugar levels.

Pregnancy and Birth

During pregnancy, women often find that they are more susceptible to gum disease. Periodontitis, a type of gum disease, has been linked to low birth weights and premature births. Make your dental care a priority during your pregnancy. Your Atlanta dentist can offer you suggestions on how to maintain good dental health throughout your pregnancy.

Osteoporosis

As we age, our bones can become brittle and weak, leading to a condition called osteoporosis. This condition can lead to tooth loss and loss of the periodontal bone. During your regularly scheduled cleanings, signs of abnormal bone loss and damage can be found and measures can be taken to repair the teeth and prevent more damage.

Medications

There are prescribed and over-the-counter medications that can cause changes in your dental health. Saliva flow may be reduced with some medications. Healthy saliva production helps to wash away bacteria and food particles. Other medications can cause gum sensitivity and bleeding. It is important to tell your dentist about any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements you may be using.

Taking care of your teeth by properly brushing and flossing, as well as visiting your dentist in Atlanta for regular cleanings and an evaluation of your dental health, will help to ensure your overall well-being in the future.