By contributing writer Rachel Jackson
Oral health is about more than a bright smile and fresh breath; it’s about your general health as well. Many people are unaware of the effect that tooth decay and gum disease can have on your overall well-being and ability to function. Many people don’t realize the toll that it can take on not only your personal life but your work life and your productivity level. Here are just a few of the ways that having bad teeth and gum disease can affect your daily life.
Periodontal disease and tooth decay can cause significant pain for sufferers. Aside from the generalized pain associated with gum inflammation and tooth pain, many people who suffer from periodontal disease also grind their teeth, leading to neck and jaw pain, and often severe headaches as well. Purchasing a dental night guard might give you some temporary relief but getting treatment for the underlying periodontal issues is the ultimate fix.
Jaw pain, tooth grinding, and other pains related to bad teeth don’t just make people miserable when they’re awake; they can keep people from sleeping. Insomnia related to oral health issues is just like any other sort of sleep disorder; it can wreak havoc on your daily life and ability to function. Over-the-counter pain and insomnia medications can help, but they can also be addictive and further exacerbate any health problems.
Cardio Vascular Disease
While the causation hasn’t been proven, there is a direct correlation between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. So, what does that mean? It means while researchers aren’t sure if gum disease causes cardiovascular disease, people that have gum diseases also have a much higher rate of cardiovascular disease. It may be that people practicing good oral hygiene also take better care of themselves in general, but there may be a link when it comes to certain bacteria found in both.
One of the biggest ways that bad teeth affect your productivity is that people with periodontal disease often avoid interactions with others. This can range from skipping lunches with coworkers to not wanting to leave the house and go out in public. Often, individuals with dental problems feel deep shame about the state of their teeth, and this can affect their willingness to work in groups.
Severe pain caused by periodontal disease can be debilitating, leaving sufferers unable to focus, and often with terrible headaches, fevers and other secondary disorders that prevent people from working. Many people wind up taking time off because they just can concentrate, or seek treatment for periodontal disease. A recent study found that 1 in 6 people misses work due to dental problems, causing an estimated 164 million hours of work-time to be lost each year.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
In addition to the other health problems, periodontal disease can affect the ability to chew and digest food. People with bad teeth often resort to eating foods that are softer and easier to eat, limiting the types and quantities of food that they consume. This can lead to an unbalanced and irregular diet, further compounding health issues.
Unhealthy eating habits often mean eating foods without adequate fiber, leading to a reduced overall food intake, or relying on smoothies and shakes as meal replacements. This restriction to normal dietary needs frequently results in deficiencies in various nutrients, leading to malnutrition. The effects can range from weight changes and discomfort to joint and bone issues, and other physiological effects, taking a toll on your health and well-being.
Leaving periodontal disease untreated leads to a snowballing effect of health and wellness related problems, significantly impacting your daily life and productivity. Proper oral health care can help to get these issues under control before they become a problem.
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about traveling, education, and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset.com – an online resource for relevant business information.