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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Greensboro Dental Clinic, Dr. Margaret Szott

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June 17th, 2019

Surprising ways that your dental health can affect your overall health

It is common knowledge that proper care of your teeth and gums can prevent decay, gingivitis, the need for dentures, and help deter other oral health-related issues.   Did you know that good oral hygiene can also affect your overall health and quality of life?

Quality of life consists of physical, material, social, and emotional well-being as well as development and activity. Oral health is an essential part of a person’s physical, emotional, and social welfare.  


Dentists have long advocated that good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.  But it can also help ward off serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor. 


Poor oral health is harmful to one’s perception of self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that almost two-thirds of people with depression reported having a toothache in the last year. It also indicated that half of all people with depression rated their teeth condition as fair or poor. 

A scientific review of related studies found a strong link between periodontal or gum disease and mood conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. For instance, poor dental health affects speech, which can cause significant social anxiety. Likewise, bad breath can increase social anxiety and how one feels about themselves in social settings.


Humans rely heavily on first impressions. When we meet a person for the first time, we make evaluations, and whether we are doing it consciously or subconsciously, we tend to focus on mouths. Think about the last job interview you went on or a first date. Do you think your teeth played a factor in whether you went on a second date or got the job?

Researchers have found that two out of five people surveyed said they would not go on a second date with someone who had crooked or misaligned teeth. Also, half of the people surveyed said given two candidates with the same experience on paper, they would opt for the candidate with the better teeth when it came time for interviews assuming everything else was equal. 

How can you protect your oral health?

- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars.
- Avoid tobacco use.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are splayed or worn or if you have been sick.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health. Contact Dr. Margaret Szott if you have any issues or would like to discuss your oral health and its effects on your overall health.

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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