Fact: Oral health is integral for taking care of your wellbeing. Poor oral health degrades your self-esteem and social interactions.
Mouth infections like gum diseases may seem insignificant, as they do not cause pain that affects work. However, they have an independent effect as risk factors for certain illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, lung infections, some types of cancer, kidney disease, and birth of preterm, low-weight babies.2
People don’t often know the specifics of oral health. So, below are seven interesting facts about teeth and oral health.
1. Forgetfulness And Poor Oral Hygiene
Ever thought increasing forgetfulness may be linked to your oral health? Yes, it’s a fact. Research3 shows poor oral hygiene affects mild loss of memory or thinking abilities. It consequently develops into Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia.
2. The Link Between A Heart Attack, Stroke, And Oral Health
Studies have even linked the increased odds of heart attacks and stroke to poor oral hygiene.4 They found that improvement in oral health decreases the risk of atherosclerotic diseases– plaque build-up on the inner blood vessel wall, eventually lowering the risks of heart attack and stroke.
3. Teeth Are Hollow Within, And Stones Are Found In Them Too!
Teeth comprise three layers: enamel is the outer surface, followed by the inner dentin layer and the innermost hollow space known as pulp. Decay can spread from the outer to inner layers, and you may need root canal therapy to eliminate infection.
While performing root canal therapy, dentists may encounter pulp stones. They are discrete calcified masses that usually affect the outcome of root canal therapy. Ultimately, you may need to undergo tooth extraction due to the inability to eliminate the infection.
4. Increased Pulp Stones May Increase The Risk Of Ischaemic Heart Disease
A study suggests individuals with increased chances of pulp stones tend to have ischaemic heart diseases. Also, there lies a strong positive association. An individual can undergo screening using a dental radiograph. That follows with further investigations like clinical and biochemical tests to rule out the risk for frank ischaemic heart diseases much before the actual symptoms occur.
5. String-Like Ligaments Suspend Your Teeth In A Bony Socket
You probably know that a tooth comprises two parts: the crown part, visible in the mouth, and the root part, beneath the gums and bone.
However, the teeth do not directly bind the bone. The tiny string-like structures known as periodontal ligaments suspend the tooth in a bony well and act as shock absorbers. The capacity to chew depends on the ability of these strings holding the teeth.
6. Rigorous Brushing Can Make Your Teeth More Yellowish
The enamel is translucent and its thickness determines the appearance of the tooth. The teeth appear white due to the greater thickness of the enamel.
Brushing your teeth is to disrupt an invisible layer that forms on teeth and not to remove stains.
Dentists recommend using a soft bristle brush and fluoridated toothpaste. First, select a set of three teeth and brush in light back-and-forth strokes, keeping partly on the teeth and gums. This disrupts the plaque structure and keeps the gums healthy.
However, rigorous brushing abrades off the outer enamel layer. It makes the enamel layer thinner and transparent, displaying the yellowish hue of the dentin layer, resulting in a yellowish appearance of the tooth.
7. Bad Breath Can Lead To Teeth Loosening
Typical symptoms of gum disease are bad breath, bleeding gums, and an increase in gaps. Bad breath can be due to the presence of deep pockets and the harboring of gum disease-causing bacteria.
Progressing gum disease leads to bone loss around teeth and subsequently causes loosening and loss of teeth.
These are some of the facts that debunk myths and misconceptions about teeth and oral health. Dental health mainly depends on good oral hygiene habits, which reduce decay and gum disease and lead to healthy living.
- José Antonio Gil-Montoya, Ana Lucia Ferreira de Mello, Rocío Barrios, Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Moles & Manuel Bravo (2015) Oral health in the elderly patient and its impact on general well-being: a nonsystematic review, Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10:, 461-467, DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S54630
- Meurman JH, Sanz M, Janket SJ. Oral health, atherosclerosis, and car-diovascular disease. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2004;15(6):403–413.
- Luo H, Wu B, González HM, Stickel A, Kaste LM, Tarraf W, Daviglus ML, Sanders AE, Cai J. Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and mild cognitive impairment among Hispanic/Latino immigrants: the moderating effects of age at immigration. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. 2023 Jun 1;78(6):949-57.
- Kane SF. The effects of oral health on systemic health. Gen Dent. 2017 Nov 1;65(6):30-4.
Dr. Fanar Swaida is a passionate and highly experienced dentist in Mississauga Ontario Canada. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry, Dr. Swaida continued his formal education through multiple courses and mini residencies in a variety of dental specialties. Dr. Swaida tries to be available for his patients even during his off time and his number one priority is to make all of his patients feel comfortable and safe when they come to Rockwest Dental Clinic Mississauga.