Have you ever canceled a dentist appointment because you felt your teeth were fine as they were? Because unhealthy teeth may not always present physical symptoms, many people ignore their oral health and take their teeth for granted. However, having a false sense of security that your teeth are healthy can lead to various problems that can impact your day-to-day life and overall well-being. Let’s take a peek at what a life with unhealthy teeth might actually look like.
Say goodbye to your favorite foods
Think of some of your favorite foods to indulge in. Now picture not being able to enjoy these foods because of limitations on what you can and can’t chew. Oral health issues like “tooth loss, gum disease, and cavities” can directly impact what you’re able to eat. Many people with loose or missing teeth have to switch to a diet full of soft, easy-to-swallow foods, which could mean less of your favorite chocolate bars or chips and salsas.
Less social interaction
For many, a neglected smile can be a reason to avoid conversations, negatively impacting their social life and mental health. According to the American Dental Association, 23 percent of adults feel embarrassed of the condition of their mouth and teeth, and 25 percent avoid smiling altogether because of these feelings.
Chronic mouth pain
Unhealthy teeth can cause severe pain in the mouth, often in the form of toothaches. Toothaches can be a consequence of poor oral health, often caused by tooth decay, cracked teeth, loose or broken fillings, or even bacterial infections. Toothaches can also occur when the pulp in your tooth becomes infected with bacteria, and because the nerves inside your tooth are sensitive, the pain can be extremely serious. If left untreated, toothaches can spread throughout the whole body, leading to more severe health issues down the line.
There’s no doubt that tooth loss can affect quality of life, with side effects like difficulty chewing food, embarrassment, and pain, but can your teeth actually impact the length of your life?
Recent studies have found that your number of teeth can correlate to your life expectancy. Specifically, results showed “those with 20 teeth or more at the age of 70 had a considerably higher chance of living longer than those with less than 20 teeth.”
Keep your teeth healthy with proper oral health care
Taking proper care of your teeth is essential for maintaining good oral health. Simple habits like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, limiting sugary food and drinks, and avoiding smoking can go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy. Additionally, it’s important to visit the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings, even if you think your teeth are fine.
Dental insurance can provide financial support for routine visits and unexpected dental emergencies. Looking for affordable dental coverage that can safeguard your smile? Explore Delta Dental’s Individual and Family dental plans.