Your child’s oral health impacts their overall health.
Tooth decay is the most common childhood chronic disease, and many children experience multiple cavities.
Despite following preventive best practices through good oral hygiene at home and routine visits to a pediatric dentist in Waldorf, children can continue to develop tooth decay—and that has an impact on their overall health.
Studies link poor childhood oral health with many issues.
You might think that a child’s poor oral health would affect only their smile. While tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues can be difficult enough for children’s oral health, they also have a lasting impact on their overall well-being.
A variety of studies link oral health issues during childhood to many chronic conditions. Ensuring a healthy smile for your child as they grow up can reduce the risk of the following serious health problems.
Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and related conditions. Research in this area is still developing, but there are several potential reasons for the connection.
One of the most prevalent symptoms of gum disease is inflammation. Inflammation doesn’t just cause soreness; it also releases proteins that work their way through the bloodstream and can affect the heart. Bacteria from a gum infection has the ability to infiltrate the bloodstream as well.
Diabetes and gum disease are interlinked in several different ways. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. Reduced healing capability allows pockets in the gums to form more easily, and people with diabetes are also more susceptible to infection.
This connection means that gum disease is sometimes a sign of diabetes. In other cases, inflammation due to gum disease may increase the risk of developing diabetes. Chronic inflammation can affect blood sugar levels, contributing to the overall risk.
Gum disease can also increase the risk of respiratory diseases like pneumonia. Again, inflammation is a major contributor, as the spread of inflammation to the fine tubes within the lungs can seriously hamper breathing.
Excessive bacteria growth in the mouth also increases the risk of respiratory infection. As bacteria continue to grow in greater numbers, the risk of breathing in the bacteria increases. Bacteria can infect the lungs, leading to potentially serious consequences.
Education and Social Development
Your child’s oral health can affect more than just their physical well-being. A study from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry highlighted the impact that poor oral health has on school attendance and performance.
Children with poor oral health miss school three times as much on average due to infection, dental pain, and other factors. These absences can have a major impact on performance at a key time in your child’s development, both educationally and socially.
Good oral health starts in childhood.
Many oral health issues develop over long periods. Adults can still experience these problems even if they had good oral health as children. However, building a strong foundation is the best way to support your child’s long-term health.
Taking your child to a kids’ dentist in Prince Frederick for routine appointments helps ensure proper development. It also instills the habit of routine visits in your child, increasing the chance that they will continue regular dental care as they grow older.
You might think that baby teeth cavities aren’t important because these teeth just fall out anyway, but that isn’t true. Your child should learn good oral health habits as early as possible because healthy baby teeth are just as important as healthy adult teeth.
Baby teeth cavities can lead to infections that spread to other tissues, including adult teeth. Losing baby teeth early due to poor oral health also causes long-term issues. Other teeth shift into the gap, which can cause crowding and misalignment as adult teeth come in.
If you want to keep your child happy and healthy, the time to start focusing on oral health is now. Don’t overlook this critical developmental period, as the long-term consequences of poor oral health can be serious.
Your Kids’ Dentist in Prince Frederick and Surrounding Areas
Making sure that your child develops a strong, healthy smile has a lasting impact on their oral and overall health. Check back with us next time for some practical steps you can take to help ensure a lifetime of oral health for your child.
You can also take steps for your child’s oral health today by choosing We Make Kids Smile as your pediatric dentist in Waldorf and surrounding areas. We specialize in dental care for children to meet their unique needs. Book your first appointment today for any pediatric dental concerns.