It would be hard to overstate the importance of your teeth. The eyes may be windows to the soul, but teeth are linked to, and tell a story about, your entire body’s condition.
Overview: The Importance of Healthy Teeth
When your teeth have issues, you may face high risks of developing heart disease, fertility problems, diabetes, and other conditions. Following a solid oral hygiene routine will ensure an attractive smile and encourage overall wellness. Simply brushing and flossing each day will improve your entire health status. Here is a closer look at the importance of a solid oral hygiene routine.
Taking care of your teeth is vital. Experts recommend you brush and floss each day. This will help eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath, decay, and gum disease. When we allow bacteria to thrive, gum inflammation often occurs. This lowers your body’s immune system and makes oral issues worse. In addition, it can wreak havoc on the rest of your body.
- Endocarditis. This heart infection is caused by bacteria that spread through the bloodstream. The bacteria often stems from the mouth.
- Heart Disease. Certain cases of heart disease are associated with infections and inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Pregnancy Issues. Poor oral health may cause pregnant women to give birth to premature and low-weight babies.
- Diabetes. People with gum disease are more likely to have diabetic issues. This oral problem makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels.
Types of Teeth
When a person has tooth problems, it is not possible to receive adequate nutrition. With severe decay or gaps in your mouth, it is difficult to chew and eat the foods necessary to support a healthy lifestyle. This is why practicing a good oral care routine is essential. Your pearly whites come in different shapes and sizes, which help them perform specific jobs.
- Incisors. Incisors are located in the front of your mouth, and they make it easy to bite things.
- Canines. Canines are the sharpest structures in your mouth. They make it easy to rip and tear food.
- Premolars and Molars. Premolars and molars are teeth in the back of your mouth that you use for chewing and grinding. This is actually where digestion begins.
There is something curious about wisdom teeth. They are not like baby teeth or permanent teeth. Formally speaking, wisdom teeth are our third molars. They come on the scene much later than other teeth. They may grow in between the ages of 17 and 25.
The origin of the term is a little murky. In general, most sources repeat the same theory. That is, these teeth get their name because they only grow in when a person is more mature or “wise.” In addition to being an elder-centric idea, this is also a very old idea. In fact, our English phrase appears to come from the ancient Latin phrase, “dens sapientiae.” Whatever the origin, though, one thing is certain. When they do appear, the tranquil days of youth meet the responsibilities of adulthood.
Who needs them?
It seems we needed wisdom teeth in the past. Some scientists believe our third set of molars helped our ancestors to chew coarse food like leaves and roots. However, like our appendix, they no longer serve us. In that sense, they are “leftovers.” They don’t have a function any longer.
Like most leftovers, you can’t just ignore them. Oh, you can try. However, they have a way of making you pay attention. Eventually, you may have to do something about them. As with most things dental, prevention beats restoration.
Why Your Dentist May Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth frequently cause problems. When they do, they need to come out. For example, they often grow in a way that can harm other teeth. An “impacted” wisdom tooth is a common problem of this type. This means the new tooth is pushing into the tooth next to it instead of growing up out of the gum. This can cause severe pain and may even lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
If wisdom teeth start to push your other teeth around, pain and problems can occur. In addition, your dentist may want to remove these teeth if they fail to emerge fully. For these reasons, dentists often pull young adults’ third molars before they can cause any problems. If they do begin to cause pain, your dentist will almost certainly want to discuss their removal.