We know that many people choose to neglect their dental health. Either people don’t have the time to make an appointment, or they don’t have the money to pay for a dental checkup and cleaning. Sometimes people just don’t think dental health is that important.

However, there are good reasons not to neglect your dental health. Not only will you be taking good care of your teeth and gums, but you will be safeguarding your overall health. Plus, taking care of your dental health can save you significant money in the long term, often with just a small cash outlay at first. Here’s how taking care of your dental health can help you stay healthy and make sure your pocketbook is healthy, too.

young woman enjoying a warm field

Gum Disease Is Bad for Your Health

One of the most common impacts of poor oral health is gum disease, also called periodontal disease. According to estimates by the CDC, about 47% of all adults age 30 and over have gum disease. This increases with age, and more than 70% of adults age 65 and older have gum disease.

This is bad news because gum disease can significantly impact your health. It has been linked to an elevated risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Dementia
  • Cancer

Gum disease can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar, increasing your risk of diabetes. Gum disease can also increase your risk of cardiovascular problems like atherosclerosis (hardened, scarred, or clogged arteries) and high blood pressure. It can also increase your risk of dangerous heart attacks and strokes. Inhaling bacteria from unhealthy gums can lead to pneumonia.

Gum disease bacteria have developed numerous techniques to fool your immune system. Left untreated, gum disease can affect your immune system strong enough to lead to autoimmune disorders, where the immune system attacks your body. The most commonly associated form is rheumatoid arthritis, in which your immune system attacks your joints.

Oral bacteria release powerful toxins, too, and these toxins are commonly found in the brains of people with dementia, accounting for the strong link between gum disease and dementia.

Some studies show a link between gum disease and many types of cancer. There seems to be a strong link at least between gum disease and stomach and esophageal cancer.

This is just a fraction of the significant health effects caused by gum disease.

Infected Teeth Can Be Deadly

It’s not just gum disease that can seriously impact your health. Infected teeth can be bad for your health, often leading to acute infections that can be dangerous, even deadly.

An infected tooth occurs when a cavity or crack opens the living part of the tooth, called the pulp chamber. Once this becomes infected, a large bacteria population can thrive there. Over time, this can have similar effects to gum disease.

However, if not treated with a root canal or extraction, an infected tooth can also lead to an acute infection that spreads from the tooth to the blood, the sinuses, even the brain. These infections can turn deadly in a relatively short time. 

Prevention Is Cheaper Than Treatment

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that it’s important to prioritize dental health. Dental health is worth the cost.

Here’s some good news: dental health doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking care of your dental health is likely the best bargain in health care. All it takes for most people to keep their teeth healthy is brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups with a dentist.

This isn’t a big commitment, and, as we’ll see in a little bit, it can have big rewards. 

Treatment Now Is Cheaper Than Procrastination

Although prevention is highly effective, you might get into a situation where you have to get treatment for a dental condition. Looking at the cost of dental treatment, you might be thinking it’s better to put off treatment until later. Perhaps you want to save to be able to pay out-of-pocket.

It’s almost always a better idea to get treatment now rather than put it off, even if you’re trying to save for the treatment rather than use financing. That’s because most dental conditions are progressive. Left untreated, they will only get worse, and that means they’ll get more expensive. The cost of a worsening dental condition likely goes up faster than interest on financing. This is especially true because we can help you get no-interest financing with CareCredit and Springstone to help you get the treatment you need now. 

Healthy Gums Can Save on Medical Bills

We talked above about all the ways that gum disease can negatively impact your health. Research shows that gum disease doesn’t just impact your health, it can impact your pocketbook, too.

Numerous studies confirm that treating gum disease can save on healthcare costs for diabetes. One recent study estimated periodontal treatment resulted in $6000 lifetime savings. Another showed that diabetics might save as much as $1800 every two years by keeping their gums healthy.

Savings aren’t limited to diabetes care. Treating gum disease can reduce the cost of care for pregnancy, stroke, and coronary artery disease by thousands of dollars. This makes treating gum disease a smart financial decision. 

Stay Healthy and Save Money with Dental Care in Wilmington

Are you overdue for a checkup and dental cleaning in Wilmington, DE? Now is the time to get back on schedule. Please call (302) 994-0979 or use our online form to contact the dental office of Dr. Michael T. Rosen today to schedule your appointment.