6 Ways Your Smile Affects Your Overall Health


Your smile affects a whole lot more than you may know. Outside of expressing emotions, eating, and talking, there are a number of important ways your mouth affects your overall health!  From helping our memory stay in tip-top shape to reducing general inflammation, the way we treat our teeth keeps the rest of us happy. Here at Berkman + Shapiro Orthodontics, we want to make sure your teeth and body stay healthy whether you are five, one-hundred-and-five, or anywhere in between. We have put together this list of facts and tips to help you learn more about the link between your smile and your overall health.

  1. Aiding in Digestion

Jaws and teeth that are properly aligned allow you to chew and process your food in the most effective way. Without effective chewing surfaces, food that is swallowed may not be digested properly.  Our intestines absorb nutrients properly only when our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles first. Misaligned teeth and jaws do not allow food to be chewed properly. This means it will not digest fully in your stomach. To obtain proper nutrients and reduce heartburn and indigestion, get your chew in shape!


  1. Bad Bite & Poor Alignment = Permanent Damage

 When you are chewing, speaking, and swallowing do you bite the inside of your cheek frequently? With poor alignment, these things can happen regularly.  Check out these common bite problems that are easily treated with orthodontic intervention. Teeth are supposed to contact in a very specific, healthy way; if they do not, forces of chewing and biting are not as easily distributed and certain teeth will sustain more than their fair share of damage.  This often results in chipping of teeth or a process called abstraction, which can affect teeth where they meet the gums.  Our Board Certified Orthodontists are specialists in their field and can provide you with the guidance and treatment needed to correct and avoid serious damage to your smile and overall health.


  1. Infection and Inflammation Reduction

 Did you know that rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints, has been found to be linked to gum disease? Yes, bacteria in certain cases of gum disease can also trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cases.  Although dental treatment isn’t a cure for RA, there is enough research on this to warrant careful attention.  Here are some tips on maintaining your oral hygiene whether you have braces or not


  1. Keeping Tooth Decay Away

 A mouth where each tooth is in its correct place is much easier to clean than one with overcrowded teeth. Enamel is lost and cavities are formed when plaque accumulates near trapped food. Cavities in between your teeth are often more serious because they may not be discovered until they have progressed and are causing pain. Giving Drs  Berkman & Shapiro the chance to address these overcrowding issues will make it easier for you to see and clean areas that are important.

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  1. Mind Like a Steel Trap

 Did you know that several studies indicate a link between gum disease and cognitive function?  I know, right?! The initial stage of gum disease and inflammation of the gums is known as gingivitis.  The more advanced form of gum disease is known as periodontitis. Adults with healthy mouths performed better on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with gingivitis. In addition, cognitive impairment in older adults has been associated with periodontitis. To help prevent the buildup of bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease, floss, and brush regularly and see your dentist!


  1. Improving Bad Breath

 Crowded teeth are not only unsightly but can be a contributing factor to bad breath.  Teeth that are overlapping trap more food than teeth which are aligned.  Did you ever notice that flossing adjacent teeth which are crowded results in the removal of larger particles of food than flossing well-aligned teeth?  The more crowded your teeth, the more particles of food and other things that get left behind.  And this causes bad breath!  You may not be able to tell, but others can.  Poor breath can really affect your daily interactions, and not in a good way.  With an improvement in fresh breath, you may find others are more willing to engage you in conversation, and everything else that comes along with that.

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Bright Smiles and Beyond

 People are not always aware of the many general benefits that properly aligned teeth and jaws offer. Because orthodontics is so functional in nature, it offers lasting health benefits in addition to the obvious aesthetic ones.  Dental issues can cause health problems that interrupt proper chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech when left untreated. Orthodontic treatment can give you a mouth that allows your mouth—and you—to function to full potential!


If you want to achieve better oral and total body health, Berkman + Shapiro Orthodontics is the place for you. Our orthodontic specialists are dedicated to providing you with personalized treatment and exemplary results.  We will provide you with a smile that is attractive, healthy, and functional. Call us today to schedule a consultation for the smile you want, and the health you need!