Despite the medical industry breaking down dental care and general care into two distinct types of medicine, there is no denying the mouth/body connection. There have been dozens of studies indicating that poor dental health is an indicator that will contribute to health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Poor oral care can also inhibit brain functionality as well as deplete perception abilities delivered by the senses and 1-800-DENTIST has the inside scoop on how oral hygiene can positively influence how well a person can think, taste and smell.
The human brain is a marvelous piece of organic design as the organ controls the he center of the nervous system in all vertebrates, including humans. The hub of what helps distinguish man from the rest of the animal kingdom processes about 70,000 thoughts a day and in order to keep the synaptic connections sharp, daily brushing and flossing are necessary.
According to study conducted by a team of British psychiatrists and dentists, "...gingivitis and periodontal disease were associated with worse cognitive function throughout adult lifeâ€”not just in later years," (http://www.prevention.com/7waystoboostyourbrain/list/3.shtml). The information was unearthed after the team analyzed thousands of subjects aged 20 to 59 and helped the team to develop the hypothesis that following the dentist recommendation of brushing teeth daily twice a day for two minutes a session plus flossing every day to remove dental plaque will keep people sharp, regardless of their age.
Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it and the theory can be applied to brain power as well. The individuals who are the most feeble-minded can actually implement some exercises to reverse the trend as science has proven that the human brain is highly adaptable courtesy of neuroplasticity. That ability to rewire a brain can be easily triggered with the right type of stimulation as the process can create new neural pathways to boost learning, comprehension and memory. Mixing up how tooth brushing is performed is a brain exercise that can help with the task.
Regardless of if a person is a righty or a lefty, tooth brushing typically occurs with the dominant hand. However, opting to use the non-dominant appendage to conduct the oral hygiene behavior will provide a brain boost. Using the non-dominant hand to brush teeth will encourage communication between the brains' two hemispheres. That process will assist to improve mental capacity and physical balance (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/easy-exercises-keep-your-brain-shape).
Humans have the basic receptors of sight, sound, feeling, smell and taste in order to perceive the world around them. Overtime, these senses will dull and can negatively impact one's quality of life. Glasses can correct vision, hearing aids can make it easier to detect sounds and brushing and flossing can help keep the ability to smell and taste sharp.
Aging is a fact of life and the individual signs of the condition will vary based on a myriad of factors including genetics, environment and life style choices (such as diet and exercise). A weakened sense of smell and a diminished sense of taste are extremely common signs of aging. Statistics have shown that half the population over the age of 65 has a decreased sense of smell and that demographic also endure a diminished sense of taste, specifically of sour and bitter flavors (http://www.prevention.com/health/health/brain-fitness/5-ways-to-sharpen-your-senses/article/76108169c1903110VgnVCM20000012281eac____/2).
The retraction of both senses can be attributed to those odor detecting receptors decline with age compounded with environmental influences such as smoking and various chemical scents. Smell and taste share the same brain pathways, intertwining them for better for worse. Sniffing strong scents like cinnamon and peppermint (both toothpaste flavors) can help heighten the sense of smell and tweak the ability to taste. Daily oral hygiene is also essential to ensure that a tongue stays clean and healthy in order to absorb all the flavors possible.