Connection Between Eye Health and Oral Health
An Inside Look at the Connection Between Eye Health and Oral Health
It’s no secret that your oral health plays a role in your overall well-being. In fact, recent studies have shown that serious dental problems, like gum disease, can significantly increase your chances of experiencing a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack. But did you know that your oral health is connected to your eye health as well? Keep reading to learn more!
So, How Are Eye Health and Oral Health Connected?
As mentioned above, the condition of your oral health affects much more than just your teeth and gums. In fact, The American Academy of Ophthalmology shared that periodontal disease and other oral infections can lead to an inflammatory response that results in damage to the optic nerve. Furthermore, research has found that the oral bacteria associated with gingivitis can play a role in the development of eye diseases. In short, taking care of your teeth won’t just benefit your smile; it will benefit your eyes too!
How To Maintain a Healthy Smile
Fortunately, the majority of serious dental problems, including gum disease, are largely preventable with the right best practices in place. So, if you aren’t already, make sure to:
- Brush twice a day – Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride to brush your teeth for two full minutes at least twice a day.
- Floss daily – Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the surface of your teeth. To remove the remaining plaque, food particles, and debris, floss at least once per day.
- Rinse with mouthwash regularly – Antibacterial mouthwash can help remove bacteria from your tongue and the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
- Eat nutrient-dense meals – While sugary foods and beverages can eat away at your enamel, nutrient-dense foods can help keep your teeth and gums healthy from the inside out. Eating lean protein, fresh fruits, and raw veggies is a great place to start.
- Schedule a dental checkup and cleaning every six months – Brushing and flossing are crucial, but any oral hygiene routine without six-month dental checkups and cleanings is ultimately incomplete. These routine visits are crucial for numerous reasons, including the fact that they catch gum disease in the early stages, screen for oral cancer, and prevent dental problems from arising in the future.
- Avoid unhealthy habits – Chewing on ice, using tobacco products, and opening packages with your teeth are all unhealthy dental habits that can seriously damage your teeth.
5 Tips for Protecting Your Eye Health
Now that you know a few essential oral health-preserving tips from an experienced dentist, it’s time to share a few tips for protecting your eye health:
- Get eye exams regularly
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Exercise frequently
- Avoid using tobacco products and drinking alcohol in excess
- Wear sunglasses that block out UV-A and UV-B radiation
With oral health and eye health so closely linked, it’s extremely important to make taking care of your teeth and gums a priority. Luckily, the above tips are a great place to start!